Jobs in danger as Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital plans e-records transition

all Children's Hospital (Large)
As many as 40 employees could lose their jobs.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is transitioning its electronic medical record management software services from Cerner to Epic, according to an internal email Florida Politics acquired Thursday.

The shift in electronic medical record management could mean as many as 40 jobs are on the line at the downtown St. Petersburg facility, according to a current employee with knowledge of the transition.

A letter distributed to staff makes no mention of layoffs and Johns Hopkins has not filed notice with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) act.

However, the employee – who asked not to be named – said current employees are expecting to lose their jobs within a year.

The hospital’s public information office confirmed the transition, but has not yet responded to a request for further comment. But an internal email paints the transition as a positive opportunity.

“The selection committee thoughtfully weighed the options of upgrading Cerner to meet our existing needs or joining the Johns Hopkins Medicine enterprise-wide EMR, Epic,” the email reads. “After detailed analysis and careful consideration, the committee decided to move forward with Epic.”

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) store patient information and history digitally. More and more hospitals and medical groups are transitioning from old-fashioned paper records that are difficult to follow patients from doctor to doctor.

Under the old non-digital record keeping, a doctor treating a patient at one hospital might not have access to information about that patient from another doctor or hospital where they were treated. Electronic records make it easier for physicians and medical staff to ensure patient history is up to date and accurate.

Cerner and Epic are the two leading EMR software companies in the nation.

“Epic is a Wisconsin-based software company that specializes in clinical and financial systems. Epic was named the top Overall Software Suite for the 8th consecutive year and the top Overall Physician Practice Vendor. The platform is the best in its class and will enable us to have one set of records across the Johns Hopkins Health System,” the hospital’s announcement reads.

The hospital plans to begin its transition to Epic July 1 and expects its transition to last 15 months.

“Epic is not simply a project. It’s a transformation – a journey to improved communication, more informed care, increased access, greater efficiency, and ultimately, better care for our patients and families,” the notice to employees states.

The hospital writes that Epic will expand the hospital’s record functionality by including “enhanced safety and quality measures, patient scheduling, registration and billing, oncology and a bedside mobile app for clinicians.”

The hospital also claims the Epic transition will improve patient experience by providing “clear and informative discharge instructions and patient education materials” and provide a Patient-facing portal” that “enables patients to easily view records, communicate with providers [and] confirm upcoming appointments.”

The email to employees encourages them to reach out to hospital or department leadership with questions.  

The letter is signed by Johns Hopkins Interim President Thomas Kmetz and Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Stephanie Reel.

Janelle Irwin Taylor

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. Most recently, Janelle reported for the Tampa Bay Business Journal. She formerly served as senior reporter for WMNF News. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]


3 comments

  • Ron Ogden

    June 21, 2019 at 2:01 pm

    Why is this a political story? I know it’s summer but. . . .

  • St Pete Native

    June 23, 2019 at 7:45 am

    Yet again -JH is destroying a local driving hospital with their grap for the almighty MONEY–Shame on them and curse them for coming to St Pete and running a great hospital!!
    Shame on you JH!

  • Jack Jones

    June 26, 2019 at 7:58 am

    You are correct, they are moving to a much more robust EMR system that improves the safety of patients. However, your “unnamed source” has no idea of what he talking about when he says that 40 jobs are on the line. I have an unnamed source that says your unnamed source must be incompetent and unable to make the change from the current EMR, Cerner, and the new EMR, EPIC. If that is the case, he or she, may very well loose their job. Why not write reports with named sources? They have a tendency to be closer to the truth.

    As far as StPeteNative’s comment about “grasp for the almighty MONEY”, this system isn’t going to generate any new revenues. It is going to cost many millions to implement. All in the name of patient safety.

    I am a healthcare consultant and see this as a positive step for the hospital. Why are you trying to put a negative spin on it?

Comments are closed.


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