It’s been a year in the making! On Feb. 5, UTHealth Houston launches Cheers, Epic’s suite for customer relationship management and automated enterprise communication. This next phase of the university’s digital experience expansion offers 360-degree patient views and provides tools for anticipating patient needs and for efficiently resolving patient requests.
This monumental go-live required a year of planning, system configuration, integrated testing, and training. According to Olasunkanmi W. Adeyinka, MD, chief medical information officer at UT Physicians, Cheers Call Management will transform UT Physicians call centers.
“The Cheers project will improve our efforts to provide patients with a better, seamless experience as they interact digitally with our health care system,” says Adeyinka, associate professor of family medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. “Our newly redesigned decision trees, which help staff and patients schedule the right visit with the right provider, and strong knowledge of large-scale patient outreach with Campaigns builds on our strong Epic implementation.”
UTHealth Houston started using the first Cheers core module, Campaigns, in late 2023 for ImmTrac Reconsent and Provider Appointment Rescheduling. MyChart Activation is the third Campaign, rolling out this month, followed by campaigns for service growth in the future.
“The success of Campaigns provided such encouragement as we continued to work toward our Feb. 5 launch of Call Management,” said Andrew Casas, senior vice president of UTHealth Houston and chief operating officer of UT Physicians. “Our achievements and success within Epic are absolutely translating to better care for our patients. We will take Campaigns to the next level by reaching out to acquire new patients in this next phase.”
In addition to Call Management and Campaigns, this project involved optimizing practice schedules to improve access and availability. This significant effort impacted almost all specialties, providers, schedulers, and call center agents, according to Stephanie Dixon, MBA, UTHealth Houston Cheers project manager.
“We are implementing new tools for agents to better understand the caller, improving efficiency in provider and schedule utilization, expanding patient scheduling pathways, and launching a new service line with e-visits,” Dixon said. “This comprehensive approach aims to enhance our interaction with patients and improve their engagement with MyUTHealth Houston.”
The university is one of the initial live Epic customers to implement follow-up orders for guiding scheduling online. This feature can drive patient satisfaction, decrease no-show rates, increase utilization, and potentially save more than $2 million over two years. “The project’s execution surpassed my expectations, and I appreciate the collaboration with the entire project team,” Dixon added.