7 Phases for Successful Epic Beaker Project Planning

7 Phases for Successful Epic Beaker Project Planning

Spring has arrived and for many laboratories that means planning is underway for new LIS projects. If a roll out of a new LIS system is something your team is tackling, here is an outline of 7 project phases our Beaker certified staff of licensed Medical Technologists (MT) believe to be critical parts of a successful plan.  Following all the steps and phases will help you achieve your goal, ensure the needs of your lab are met, and ensure patient safety.

1: Planning – Application Coordinator and Application Manager have onsite visit from Epic team to evaluate the lab department.

Key points: Make sure all software and technical aspects of the lab are included:  Blood Bank, Anatomic Pathology, Laboratory Automation System, and Analyzer Instruments.

2: Installation – Shell System is installed as a Basic Foundation System including build of all lab tests.

Key point: Your lab team can provide a complete list of all order codes and tests available, including all reference lab tests.  This will help you to avoid delays and manually needing to build them later on.

3: Validation – Usually a 3 month time period consisting of site visits to go through lab workflow and determine customization requirements.

Key point:  Ensure Subject Matter Experts (SME) from each department are included for decision making. 

ü  Clerical/Billing

ü  Chemistry

ü  Specimen Processing

ü  Hematology

ü  Microbiology

ü  Blood Bank

ü  Urinalysis

ü  Pathology

 4: BuildBeaker Build occurs in a 3-4 month period concurrent with all other system builds.

Key Point: Many detailed build items occur during this phase.  Some items will be completed by IT personnel and other by laboratory assigned resources.  Experience and clinical knowledge are critical at this step.  Include your Beaker Certified MT or MLT in all aspects of the build, their clinical knowledge is invaluable to completing a full lab build and have it done right prior to the MRT testing period. 

·   Order Codes and Test Codes – Only the initial build is done via export/import functionality so be sure to assign each department SME their section to validate.

§  Facility Structure Build – The full lab and department outline will be detailed here. Include your specimen routing logic, auto cancel rule, and worklists for bench development.

§  Instruments – All analyzer setup occurs here and mapping may be completed by an IT resource, but a MT or MLT should review and sign-off on all data.  Laboratory staff should determine if processing rules will be written in the middleware selected or built in the application.

§  QC Build – A Unity Real Time external product or Beaker internal QC functions can be used for this build, but a department SME should work to develop the scheduled QC runs and alerts within system.

§  Security Build (outside Epic Beaker Module) –Having a certified resource assigned to build all lab users, allows control as to which lab facilities your end users will have access to.

§  Charge Build (outside Epic Beaker Module) – Laboratory build of CPT per order code or result code. Be sure to include a billing specialist to complete this build.  (BCS has developed a detailed billing testing plan that can be incorporated in your system validation to monitor accuracy.)

§  Patient Reports & Labels – Extra time and attention should be dedicated to make sure all CLIA and CAP reporting features are included for proper specimen or patient identification prior to reporting. 

§  Reference Lab Interface – Completed primarily by using translation tables which may be managed by the IT department. Again, include your specimen processing specialist for review and sign off of actual naming mapping and specimen mapping.

§  Custom Management Report Writing – This can be a very technical skill but laboratory personal need to provide the guidance on what they need to capture. 

§  Outreach EMR Interfaces – All outreach systems need to be validated against the new LIS Order and Test build to ensure translation tables are built with the new codes.

5: Testing (Mapped Record Testing) – Internal MRT process within Beaker. Each Order code is ordered and downloaded to the analyzers. Review results returned to ensure each posts to the representative result code. Include MRT to Reference Lab interface and EMR Interfaces.

Key Point:  MRT testing does not cover all CAP mandated checks to ensure laboratory results are complete and compliant.   Work with your project manager to add extra steps in your project plan that check for the following CAP regulations:

ü  Patient Name & Unique Identifier

ü  Name & Address of Testing Lab

ü  Name of Test Performed

ü  Test Report Date

ü  Physician of Record or Ordering Person

ü  Test Results Including Units & Interpretation (if applicable)

*If applicable/appropriate: Specimen Source, Specimen Comments, Date/Time of Specimen Collection, Time of Release of Report, Reference Ranges

6: Training – Workflows are developed by the Instructional Designer to train internal staff.

Key Point:  Include audit tracking to ensure all staff completes training and are signed off as compliant. Strong SOPs will help ensure processes are followed, and new personnel are trained properly.

7: Data Conversion – At this point, your old LIS is able to be exported and imported to Beaker for reference.  There is no limit to the amount of data that can be imported.

Key Point:  Have MT involved in linking each test/result from the old system to the new Beaker code.

After completing these 7 project phases, it’s time to take a deep breath and realize that your lab has gone live with Epic. Congratulations!  Our team has worked through these phases numerous times with Epic and Beaker, as well as with Epic and other Laboratory Systems, having seen firsthand how good planning and qualified resources can impact not only the build, but reduce the risk of retests and lost revenue. Carefully executing these 7 phases will help your new system work for your lab and your patients. Please call us for more information or help with any part of your project.  We’d love to help!

(480) 346-7011   www.bcsolutionsrfn.com

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