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J Pathol Inform. 2017 Dec 14;8:47. doi: 10.4103/jpi.jpi_31_17. eCollection 2017.

Implementation of Epic Beaker Anatomic Pathology at an Academic Medical Center.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, United States of America.
2
Department of Health Care Information Systems, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, United States of America.

Abstract

Background:

Beaker is a relatively new laboratory information system (LIS) offered by Epic Systems Corporation as part of its suite of health-care software and bundled with its electronic medical record, EpicCare. It is divided into two modules, Beaker anatomic pathology (Beaker AP) and Beaker Clinical Pathology. In this report, we describe our experience implementing Beaker AP version 2014 at an academic medical center with a go-live date of October 2015.

Methods:

This report covers preimplementation preparations and challenges beginning in September 2014, issues discovered soon after go-live in October 2015, and some post go-live optimizations using data from meetings, debriefings, and the project closure document.

Results:

We share specific issues that we encountered during implementation, including difficulties with the proposed frozen section workflow, developing a shared specimen source dictionary, and implementation of the standard Beaker workflow in large institution with trainees. We share specific strategies that we used to overcome these issues for a successful Beaker AP implementation. Several areas of the laboratory-required adaptation of the default Beaker build parameters to meet the needs of the workflow in a busy academic medical center. In a few areas, our laboratory was unable to use the Beaker functionality to support our workflow, and we have continued to use paper or have altered our workflow. In spite of several difficulties that required creative solutions before go-live, the implementation has been successful based on satisfaction surveys completed by pathologists and others who use the software. However, optimization of Beaker workflows has continued to be an ongoing process after go-live to the present time.

Conclusions:

The Beaker AP LIS can be successfully implemented at an academic medical center but requires significant forethought, creative adaptation, and continued shared management of the ongoing product by institutional and departmental information technology staff as well as laboratory managers to meet the needs of the laboratory.

KEYWORDS:

Beaker anatomic pathology; implementation; laboratory information system

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