News and Announcements

UHealth is Transformed into a Fully Integrated Academic Health System

Written by Christine Morris
    
The hospital command center on Sunday, October 29.

The change, which launched Sunday, October 29, after more than a year of preparation, is the first major step in the transformation of UHealth into a true single academic health center, with the goal of providing the system’s world-renowned care in patient-centric clinics and hospitals throughout South Florida.

“By eliminating silos and consolidating our three hospitals into a single operational model, we have created a tremendously high performing ‘team of teams’ that will continue to soar to new heights,” said Thinh H. Tran, M.D., MBA, chief operating officer of UHealth. “This is a momentous effort for us, a transformation of how we work together and collaborate.”

Operating under a single hospital license will not only provide an exceptional experience for patients, it will also simplify the administrative burden for the health system’s partners. It will reduce redundancies and consolidate services across UHealth facilities. These improvements will further streamline finances and enhance the health system’s revenue stream, ensuring that through the tumultuous changes in the national health care system, UHealth will continue to be able to deliver the highest level of care to all patients.

“This is also about ease of care for our caregivers,” Tran said. “Among our entities we had more than 3,000 policies and corresponding procedures that we have now simplified to a central core of 85 policies. As patients and caregivers go from site to site, there is one single operating model. This is a revolutionary culture shift for the health system, highlighting how we all work together to achieve a collective win.”

Leaders at the command center, from left, Pat Ivory, assistant vice president for strategic operations and clinical informatics; hospital CEO Michael Gittelman; Martiza Suarez, M.D., associate chief medical information officer; Steven Falcone, M.D., MBA, executive dean for clinical affairs; Tanira Ferreira, M.D., chief medical officer; Kymberlee J. Manni, Ph.D., chief operating officer; and David Seo, M.D., chief medical informatics officer.

A huge piece of the transformation was the implementation of UChart, an Epic-based electronic medical record (EMR) system, at University of Miami Hospital, which will now be known as the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics – UHealth Tower. The health system now has a true enterprise-level EMR, accessible to both providers and patients. It will allow providers seamless access to all of a patient’s UHealth records, as well as additional health information from other hospitals and clinics outside of UHealth that use the Epic system.

“These monumental tasks have impacted every aspect of our health care system, and they could not have succeeded without the team approach now being implemented across UHealth’s growing footprint,” said Edward Abraham, M.D., acting executive vice president for health affairs, CEO of UHealth, and dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School of Medicine. “This is an exceptional example of how we work in collaboration to deliver on our promise to our patients and our community.”

In addition to the consolidation of the entities, all the physicians practicing at UHealth Tower are Miller School of Medicine faculty or voluntary faculty. This is critical because it completes the hospital’s transformation to a true academic teaching hospital.

“This integration has been an aspiration for our health system since we bought Cedars Hospital,” Tran said. “It’s been 10 years in the making, and took the dedication of multiple teams working together for the past 18 months to arrive at where we are today. I’m very grateful and proud of our staff for this accomplishment.”

Hospital operations across the UHealth system will be legally, administratively and functionally under the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics. Patients will continue to receive world-class care at such distinguished centers as Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and the names of key locations such as The Lennar Foundation Medical Center, Sylvester at Deerfield Beach, and UHealth at Plantation will still be used. The Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital will now be known as the Anne Bates Leach Eye Center.

Dr. Thinh Tran and Pat Ivory at the command center.

Other steps are being taken to unify the health system, including a nursing harmonization project that outlines a clear ladder for career advancement.

“This is a foundational piece, but there is much more work to be done,” Tran said. “We are shifting our focus to optimization of our ambulatory care network, which extends throughout the tri-county area as well as Naples. Our efforts will focus on the continued harmonization of a superior experience and business model.”

Richard Ballard, chief administrative officer of UHealth corporate services, agrees that this is “the first big step to position the health system to be more effective and more competitive in the future. This is a journey, not a destination.” The restructuring and unification of financial areas such as billing, revenue cycle and procurement, information technology, regulatory compliance and many other functions will continue to advance.

“We’re an academic center, which means we’re a learning organization, and now we’ll have a better ability to learn from one another,” Ballard said. “This is an opportunity for us to really think as a unified health system.”

On Sunday, when the command center at UHealth Tower officially launched Epic and ensured that other changes were initiated smoothly, Ballard says it was clear that a “bonding process” had happened. The staff was proud and pleased that health system leaders rounded to show their appreciation for the employees’ dedication to the scope and importance of the project.

David Seo, M.D., chief medical informatics officer for the health system, was among the leaders at the command center. “It has been great to see the whole UM family pull together in such a collaborative way,” he said. For him the Epic launch “is the single largest transformative event for the health system. While we focus on the tool, which is UChart, this is really a change in the way we take care of our patients and manage our business. There is still plenty of work to be done, and we will stay focused on the job.”

 

Ballard says the tools for the job are in place. “We basically did everything in the past year or so that would be required if you were building a brand new hospital,” he said. “We designed a process as well as getting all the work done. The next time we do a large-scale project like this we’ve got the tools and a process for it.

“The biggest change beyond the obvious ones when you do these kinds of projects is that you take three cultures and create a fourth one. When we feel that that has really happened, that’s when we know this has been successful.”

 


University of Miami Hospital Implements State-of-the-Art Electronic Medical Record System

Friday, May 12, 2017

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University of Miami Hospital is significantly transforming its patient care experience by upgrading its electronic medical record (EMR) system to UChart. The upgrade will positively impact patients and the entire University of Miami Health System community, and once completed in October it will mark the final phase of the University’s creation of a true enterprise-level EMR.

When UChart is implemented, health care providers and patients alike will benefit in many important ways. Providers at UMH will now have a 360-degree view of patients that was not available before. They will not only have seamless access to all of a patient’s UHealth records, but also to their health information from other Epic hospitals and clinics outside the UHealth system.

“UChart is a state-of-the-art clinical information system, developed by Epic, which integrates functionality of clinical software applications into a single system accessible across UHealth,” said David Seo, M.D., Chief Medical Informatics Officer. “Once the project is complete, it will be the first time that all UHealth clinical faculty and staff members will have around-the-clock access to an integrated EMR. This will foster a more connected and unified approach to patient care.”

A significant shift for health care providers at UMH will be the transition from Meditech and paper documentation to fully electronic medical records. To ensure this transition causes minimal disruption to current workflows, the UHealth Information Technology implementation team is leveraging best practices from previous implementations at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

“We will be better, safer and faster,” said Tanira Ferreira, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of UMH. “UChart will facilitate communication among providers and caregivers, as notes and orders will be immediately available.”

The UHealth IT training team has developed role-based training tracks for nurses, physicians, and staff at UMH. This streamlined approach was developed to minimize impact on day-to-day operations and will offer all health care providers the knowledge, tools, and access needed to effectively use UChart.

In the coming months, more information regarding the UChart implementation at UMH will be communicated to affected health care providers. Dates to remember:

  • Super User Training: July 5 – August 1
  • End User Training: August 1 – October 27
  • Go-Live: October 29
  • Elbow to Elbow Support: October 29 – November 17
  • Post Go-Live Support: Through November 17

For questions, please send an email to: uhealthit@miami.edu.


IBM Watson Selects University of Miami Health System for Inclusion in the Imaging Collaborative

Wednesday, June 22

Following the announcement by IBM Watson, David Seo, M.D, Chief Information Officer and Chief Medical Informatics Officer, said, “This initiative represents the transition from the theoretical potential of Big Data to the application of Big Data to improve human health. I am very excited for UHealth IT to be involved in this one-of-a kind initiative. I believe that we will look back on June 22, 2016 in ten years and point to it as the day the paradigm of health care was changed.”   

To learn more about the Imaging Collaborative, read the Forbes.com article: IBM Watson Imaging Collaborative Adds 16 Health Systems, Tech Firms.


Meditech Upgraded to Version 5.6.7 

Saturday, May 21

The University of Miami Hospital (UMH) is pleased to announce Meditech, our electronic health record (EHR) system, has been upgraded from 5.6.6 to version 5.6.7.   


UChart Expansion at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute: Go-Live is June 26, 2016

Saturday, May 10

On June 26, 2016, Sylvester and Bascom Palmer are going live with two additional UChart modules: OpTime Operating Room Management System (OpTime), and Anesthesia Information Management System (Anesthesia). At Sylvester, we are also expanding the implementation of Radiant to include the Interventional Radiology department. 

Registration is currently available through ULearn. This required training is needed for you to effectively prepare for the use of the additional UChart modules and to access them at Go-Live. For step-by-step registration instructions and information on which role-based class to take, please view the appropriate Training Flyer: