EPIC, documentation & time management advice

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    I am looking for some EPIC documentation advice, tips, hints, etc. EPIC is new to our hospital. I feel we had the max training time allowed and overall I really like it, just unsure how best to approach it. I am mostly looking for the best possible time management advice. I've found that if I document assessments in the patient rooms as supposed to, I become too distracted by patient or other person talking to me or it just simply takes too long in general. Here's what I'm doing now. I begin my 7am shift by checking on each patient and doing initial assessment. I then start by passing meds, and then doing dressing changes and fulfilling other orders. I find myself not documenting until around 2-4 pm when seems to be the most common time I'm "caught up" and am doing Is and Os. I take notes and just go back and enter what I did in the correct time slot. This also is time consuming and if anything at all goes wacky, I'm still trying to catch up way after my shift is supposed to end. I also find that I am not getting to resolve care plan problems each shift; mainly due to simply forgetting to click on it. I charted very well and often on paper and I just am scared of not doing enough on this system.
    I've only done one direct admission assessment and all the documentation is done in the room at that time of course. I must get faster with this also.
    If anyone has developed a "system" that works well for them and timing and reducing errors, etc. please share advice. Plus, I am a new grad from May 2010 and recently off orientation so time management and getting a "routine" down is still not something I have mastered yet.
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    My advice is dependent on whether your system is set up the same way in your facility:

    For head to toe, I generally hover over what the last shift documented (in doc flowsheets) and for each pertinent category (if nothing has changed or I concur with the assessment) I simply highlight and copy the column to a new time (my assessment time). I may add or delete details of the assessment depending on what I assessed. *Copying and pasting can save you a lot of time, but be careful what you copy. *

    Don't double document. (Unless required) If you chart lung sounds are WDL, why chart that lungs are clear, breathing unlabored, etc...

    For Admissions: There are only a few areas that require you to be directly with the pt. I always do my assessment, I ask about belongings, health history, allergies, home meds, and im out the door. The rest of the care plan crap, xferring pt from ED or wherever, and pt education can be done outside the room in a jiffy.

    Resolving goals or problems in care plans: If you have the option "Multiple" under pt education...this button is your friend. You can document for multiple problems/goals without having to click each one.

    Hope this helps! I find that having a set routine never helped me because people are always in my business and pulling me away from things. Find a cubby hole or computer away from the hordes of people and get your documentation done when you can! Good luck!
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    Thank you so much! This will help me. I love the hiding part. That is the one thing I have figured out. If there is an empty patient room, You can find me there trying to get documenting done, lol.
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    Quote from felineRN
    My advice is dependent on whether your system is set up the same way in your facility:

    For head to toe, I generally hover over what the last shift documented (in doc flowsheets) and for each pertinent category (if nothing has changed or I concur with the assessment) I simply highlight and copy the column to a new time (my assessment time). I may add or delete details of the assessment depending on what I assessed. *Copying and pasting can save you a lot of time, but be careful what you copy. *

    Don't double document. (Unless required) If you chart lung sounds are WDL, why chart that lungs are clear, breathing unlabored, etc...

    For Admissions: There are only a few areas that require you to be directly with the pt. I always do my assessment, I ask about belongings, health history, allergies, home meds, and im out the door. The rest of the care plan crap, xferring pt from ED or wherever, and pt education can be done outside the room in a jiffy.

    Resolving goals or problems in care plans: If you have the option "Multiple" under pt education...this button is your friend. You can document for multiple problems/goals without having to click each one.

    Hope this helps! I find that having a set routine never helped me because people are always in my business and pulling me away from things. Find a cubby hole or computer away from the hordes of people and get your documentation done when you can! Good luck!


    Agree! We use EPIC and one of the more seasoned nurses I work with always complains that her assessments take her forever. Well when I follow after her and see that she's charting respiratory as WDLw/ clear lungs sounds, peri neuro as WDL with +2 pedal & radial pulses, regular apical & radial pulses, etc. and so on, it's no wonder. WDL and move on!
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    Wow I FEEL stupid but what is "WDL"? We use Medi-tech and I wonder how similar it is to EPIC documentation systems?
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    WDL = Within Defined Limits. So basically, in EPIC, if the patient's respiratory system is normal - the patient is on room air, lung sounds are clear, SaO2 > 92%, you can simply call the respiratory system "WDL" instead of going into the subcategories and explicitly listing normal assessment results.

    We use McKesson, but are switching to EPIC. In McKesson, we used WNL (Within Normal Limits).
    want2know_Healthcare and TDCHIM like this.
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    Quote from Reno1978
    WDL = Within Defined Limits. So basically, in EPIC, if the patient's respiratory system is normal - the patient is on room air, lung sounds are clear, SaO2 > 92%, you can simply call the respiratory system "WDL" instead of going into the subcategories and explicitly listing normal assessment results.

    We use McKesson, but are switching to EPIC. In McKesson, we used WNL (Within Normal Limits).
    We also use McKesson and are switching to Epic within the next few years. I'm glad it sounds similar with the copy/paste feature as I find this saves a tremendous amount of time. But I always check what I'm charting as some people will chart (or omit) odd things for respiratory for like 5 days without changing it and it makes me wonder.
    I always chart in the rooms right off the bat. Go in meet my pts, assess, chat and chart then off to the next.
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    My EPIC uses letter key recognition, for example in the heart rhythm box, if you type in NS then the enter key it will recognize normal sinus rhythm. This saves me the time of accessing the drop down menu and clicking on the selection. Once you learn these you can halve the time it takes to record an assessment. This is especially helpful in documenting restraints as there is rarely any variation in the documentation and you can't copy that section.
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    Be sure to use the "Details" box. Click click click away. Right-click to immediately jump to the next box down. I usually do my initial assessment/med pass then chart whenever I have the time throughout the day in between other tasks. I never really chart in the room because, like you said, it's too distracting. When we first switched to Epic, I made a little checklist of all the flowsheets/careplans/education I needed to chart on so that I made sure I wasn't missing anything.
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    oh okay...thanks (WDL/WNL..I had only said WNL before). The Meditech system doesn't have a box to check for WNL/WDL...but you can click "recal" and every box will be checked that the nurse before you checked. The problem is that the nurse before you probbly hit recall too and some of the stuff is completely inaccurate. So if your not careful it ends up being wrong. Its terribly redundant..but it is all I know. I will be moving soon and wonder what type of documentation system the new place will have..(wherever I end up working).


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