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The Health Care District Launches "Connect PBC" and Integrates Epic Electronic Health Record System

Image of the EPIC Launch at LMCThe Health Care District of Palm Beach County has launched a premier Epic electronic health record (EHR) system that now links thousands of primary care clinic and rural hospital patients to a single, shared platform for quality, integrated care. The new “Connect PBC” patient portal ensures patients within the Health Care District’s safety net system, many who are underserved, have convenient and secure digital access to their health information.

“Our new Epic-based integrated platform provides best-in-class technology to meet the needs of our patients, many of whom have complex conditions and find it challenging to navigate the healthcare delivery system,” said Belma Andrić, MD, MPH, the Health Care District’s Chief Medical Officer. “With Epic, our providers now have a more complete picture of their patients’ health across the continuum of care right at their fingertips.” 

After going live on July 1st, 2021, the new software now serves the more than 50,000 unique C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics’ patients at nine locations in communities of need, as well as over 27,000 patients a year at Lakeside Medical Center, the Health Care District’s rural, acute-care teaching hospital in Belle Glade. The Epic system provides medical staff with immediate access to test results, the ability to place orders remotely and seamlessly communicate with other providers and Health Care District departments. The EHR system also helps to promote population health by identifying health trends, which can lead to initiatives that improve the overall health of the community.
“A consolidated patient medical record across clinical areas allows informed decisions to be made more quickly and efficiently,” said Karen A. Harris, the Health Care District’s VP of Field Operations. “Epic is a scalable system that allows us to effectively manage our volume of patient care across our programs, provide continuity of care, reduce duplication, and improve patient outcomes for years to come.”

Hollywood-based Memorial Healthcare System extended its clinical, professional and technical integration to the Health Care District through its strategic Epic Connect program, which extends Epic EHR software with community physicians and other hospitals. The year-long implementation process in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic was a monumental achievement. The Epic Community Connect project team worked virtually to design and build applications, conduct testing and training, and roll out the technology on schedule. 
“Memorial Healthcare System and the Health Care District of Palm Beach County are committed to maintaining the health and well-being of our communities by empowering physicians and patients with all the resources required to proactively address medical issues in the context of population health through an optimal infrastructure that helps elevate the delivery of care,” said Jeff Sturman, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, Memorial Healthcare System. “A partnership through Epic Connect, which Memorial offers, brings all healthcare providers – hospitals, community physicians and other points of care – into a single, comprehensive longitudinal patient record that stimulates joint collaboration, significantly benefiting the hosting organization, community physicians who are part of the extended network, and especially the patients they serve.”

Epic software is the most widely-used and comprehensive health records system in the nation, handling the private medical records of about 60 percent of patients nationwide. Epic is used by a majority of U.S. News and World Report’s top-ranked hospitals and medical schools that work collaboratively to improve patient care, innovate healthcare delivery and achieve financial health. 
“Our new electronic health record system is revolutionizing the way we operate at the Health Care District by providing patients with one continuous health record across all of our services, as well as access to their providers and medical record on ‘Connect PBC’, our patient portal,” said Patricia Lavely, the Health Care District’s VP and Chief Information and Digital Officer  “I am in awe of the great work that our 200+ team members and our partners with Memorial Healthcare have achieved during an unprecedented year in health care.”