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Celebrating 20 Years with Epic Health

By Buffalo Medical Group | October 29 2019 | BMG News & Updates

20 Years with Epic Electronic Health Record System

A decade before the Obama administration and Congress set aside $27 billion in federal subsidies to incentivize hospitals, physician groups, and other providers to adopt electronic health record (EHR) systems, Buffalo Medical Group made an early investment in its health information technology, and became the first local physician group to adopt the Epic EHR system back in October 1999. Now, 20 years later, physicians at Buffalo Medical Group point to several notable results and health outcomes this long-term investment enabled, and how its patients continue to benefit.

“Launching on the Epic platform has been a game-changer for patient care at our group,” says Daniel J. Scully, chief executive officer, Buffalo Medical Group. “It allows our providers, along with their care teams, to practice medicine in the most integrated manner, and have the information they need at their fingertips at any given time. The decision to launch on Epic was an expensive one, but without a doubt, the right one for our patients. I’m proud of my colleagues for making this decision 20 years ago and putting us at the forefront of innovation and putting us in a position to deliver the best possible, integrated care for our patients.”

Back in 1999, Epic was primarily used for scheduling appointments and documenting patient records. Since then, Epic has grown to provide a suite of software solutions, which we continue to implement as they become available.

According to Epic, the majority of top-ranked hospitals and medical schools use Epic, recognized for its comprehensive, high-quality EHR software suite. Dr. Notaro says from Buffalo Medical Group physicians’ perspective, the use of Epic improves patient outcomes by:

  • Enhancing communication among primary physicians and specialists, including the exchange of information across unaffiliated health systems
  • Enhancing communication and accountability between physicians and patients
  • Avoiding costly, unnecessary medical procedures that may be repetitive or not of value
  • Allowing patients ready access to their own medical records, with user-friendly functionality that engages patients in their own health

By 2007, we implemented the first EHR for a new patient. Later that year, we launched MyBMGChart – its secure, online patient portal where patients can access personal health records, request prescription refills, and communicate with their care team 24/7.

Believing access to personal health records better allows patients to take control of their health, results in better collaboration between patients and providers, and achieves better outcomes, Buffalo Medical Group physician leaders continued to invest in the technology. Today, nearly 182,000 patients use MyBMGChart.

MyBMGChart allows patients to easily engage in their own health care. Marcia, a 78-year old patient and caregiver to her 92-year-old husband credits MyBMGChart with keeping them out of the office and in the safety and comfort of their own home. Marcia’s husband is a patient in the congestive heart failure clinic, so she sends in his weight right to his primary care physician every day though the online portal. BMG medical staff will call right away if there are any issues.

Marica says it’s reassuring to know her husband is being monitored, without having to come to into the office, and commends BMG for fast response rates to messages, which save her time on the phone.

“I think it’s wonderful, I’ve got it down pat,” she says. “I don’t know what I would do without it. My husband is very ill, and it helps me manage his care. It has saved us many difficult trips to the doctor’s office”

Vince, a 29-year-old flight attendant, has difficulty making appointments to get into the doctor’s office due to his travel schedule. He uses e-visits through MyBMGChart when he gets sick and says it’s helpful and cost-effective for him to avoid urgent care centers. He also uses the messaging feature frequently, as his job makes it difficult to make calls, and he pays his bills online without having to worry about missing mail at home.

“I never have a minute to myself to get to the doctor so I would do an e-visit if I knew it was something simple for him to get me a script, saving me time and saving me from wasting a day off going to the doctor,” Vince says.

Epic has enabled us to give our patients truly coordinated care. Patients are empowered to take control of their health on their time with MyBMGChart, and we’re able to provide them with high-quality care that meets their needs, and lives.

Want to learn more about MyBMGChart? Check out our free training classes for patients and their caregivers to help you become an expert on MyBMGChart!

Login to your MyBMGChart Account here, or download the App on your smartphone to access MyBMGChart from anywhere.