Bayhealth Awarded Blue Collar Grant

Staff Report

April 6, 2016 – Bayhealth was recently awarded a $100,000 grant from the Blue Collar Grant Program (BCGP). This is a matching training grant funded through the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) and assisted Bayhealth in training staff when a new electronic health record (EHR) was implemented last year.

The new EHR – Epic – enabled all of Bayhealth to be part of one integrated system where everyone has access to the same patient information. With Epic, staff can look at the same patient information whether they’re at the Bayhealth Emergency Center, Smyrna or at Bayhealth Primary Care, Georgetown. Through these records, clinicians are better able to make the right decision at the right time for patients.

The Bayhealth Information Technology department collaborated with the Bayhealth Foundation on the grant, which required the training of 105 entry level and advanced trainers during the grant period. Bayhealth surpassed the requirements with more than 400 team members trained. Not only was staff trained, but the grant aided in curriculum development. “This allowed us to develop a curriculum and devise a training program that looks at the long-term use of Epic,” said Chief Information Officer Richard Mohnk, MSA, MT(ASCP). “We’re going to have Epic for many years to come so this helped us get off on the right foot.”

DEDO Director Bernice Whaley says the impact Bayhealth has on the community is exactly why the organization received the grant. “Bayhealth is a valuable asset to Delaware’s economy through the jobs, revenue and healthcare services it provides. DEDO is pleased to support the organization’s goal to improve services and quality of care by providing a training grant for employee education on Epic,” Whaley said. “Although the agreement was to provide training for more than 100 associates, Bayhealth far exceeded those expectations by quadrupling the state’s return on investment.”

Now retired Workforce Development Director Sonia Aguilar believes it’s crucial that Delaware employers have opportunities like this to ensure their employees improve their skills and stay up-to-date on the latest technology. “Bayhealth’s implementation of this advanced electronic health record system benefits all their patients and helps them deliver better quality services,” Aguilar said.

Ultimately the Epic project and grant was all about patient care and finding ways to improve it, said Bayhealth IT Business Operations Manager Kim Billings. “This helped us ensure we have well trained staff and clinicians using the electronic health record system. By having staff well versed in this system, it improves the patient experience, provides better care and outcomes.”

The Epic EHR was implemented in 2016 at all Bayhealth facilities, including the hospitals, Bayhealth Medical Group practices and outpatient facilities. Not only does using Epic provide better care for patients at Bayhealth, but if a patient is on vacation in other states, other hospitals using Epic will also have access to the patient information.

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