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by Tom Wilemon | Thursday, May. 18, 2017, 8:30 AM
Cheryl Blackwell walked into a room with her reading glasses propped atop her head and was greeted by people wearing wacky antennas adorned with rocket ships and planets.
She had just boarded the EpicLeap Space Station, where Milky Ways, MoonPies and astronaut-themed freebies helped ease any apprehension about being introduced to a new software system for Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC).
Blackwell, an accounts reimbursement specialist, never needed those reading glasses.
“It’s easy on the eyes,” she said, praising the new system for its clear display.
The familiarity session at Vanderbilt Health One Hundred Oaks for eStar, the Epic software system that will replace StarPanel as well as other clinical and operational applications, was one of seven Space Stations held this month across VUMC locations and one of a series of similar events planned in advance of the Go Live that will take place the early morning hours of Nov. 2.
The sessions are part of a massive training effort dubbed EpicLeap, which is preparing VUMC for a smooth transition to eStar.
Other employees who took part in the event at One Hundred Oaks on May 9 also gave the new system good reviews.
“This system is very user-friendly,” said Erica Mackel, an account reimbursement specialist. Martica Houghton, who also works with patient accounts, said the system is an improvement because it doesn’t require opening multiple windows to enter information.
There will be ample opportunity to learn the new system, said Madison Agee, communications lead for EpicLeap.
“Everyone who is going to need access to eStar will receive training,” Agee said. “That training will be determined by their specific roles and confirmed by their managers as to what type training they need.
About 1,800 “ambassadors” have signed up to assist with spreading the word around about EpicLeap. Wearing the costume antennas, they assisted with a prior round of Space Station sessions that was held in September.
Besides passing out candy bars and “astronaut snacks” (granola, fruit and nut bars), they led employees through the stops in the workstation and signed them up for grand prize drawings of a Yeti cooler, iPadMini and an Amazon Echo.
“The centerpiece of this round of Space Stations is what we’re calling our flight simulator,” Agee said. “We have seven different device types. Colleagues can view eStar on what it is going to look like on each one of those seven different devices from a large clinical workstation down to an app on your iPhone.”
The next big event, the EpicLeap Research Town Hall, is scheduled for Monday, July 17, in 208 Light Hall from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It is geared toward VUMC researchers and support staff.
More intensive training sessions for employees who will use eStar are slated to begin in mid-August. Employees must complete the required eStar training and pass an End User Proficiency Assessment with a minimum score of 80 percent to gain access to the new software system.
The EpicLeap team will provide significant support to any employee struggling with passing their assessment.
Tom Wilemon, (615) 322-4747
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