Achieving Epic Gold Star Levels: The Journey from an Analyst’s Perspective

Stay up to date on our latest blogs and content


By Julie Lamasters | Oct 28, 2022

3 minute read Epic| Blog

The Epic Gold Stars program is a 10-level program to encourage continuous improvement of clinical and financial outcomes, and it outlines specific features for healthcare organizations to focus on during the design and build process in order to achieve the next level.

Achieving even a level 4 within the Gold Star program is not easy, and to “level up” you will need early buy-in, focus on the end goal of improving outcomes, and a standardized implementation process.
How do you approach tackling the next level in the Epic Gold Star program? As a manager charged with delivering multiple Epic projects for healthcare clients, let's understand what it takes to level up through the eyes of a senior analyst with CereCore, Michael Beasley.

Julie Lamasters: How did you decide where to begin with the Gold Stars program? What Gold Stars have you implemented recently?

Michael Beasley: We identified areas where implementing several Gold Star features for both Radiant and Anesthesia applications would have a high impact on both the patient experience and the provider experience.

We implemented the MRI Screening Form Questionnaire in MyChart.

This Gold Star allows patients to answer and submit the MRI Screening Form prior to their appointment via MyChart. 

Additionally, the radiology technologist will be able to pull those answers from MyChart into Epic Hyperspace so that both the patient and technologist can review the screening form together prior to starting the exam.

We also implemented the Anesthesia Mobile Updates.

Anesthesia Mobile is how an anesthesiologist/anesthetist can complete parts of their workflow via Haiku. 

These updates allow additional functionality such as documenting events, reviewing the Anesthesia Encounter and create/review notes with images that can be attached directly to the note. Furthermore, these updates will build on future upd

ates and upgrades to allow the anesthesia team to complete their entire workflow from their handheld device.

JL: What was the coolest part about the build for you as an analyst?

MB: In both of these projects we were able to integrate parts of normal workflow into supporting parts of Epic (MyChart and Haiku). Typically, the Optime and Radiant workflows are completed directly in Epic Hyperspace. 

In both of these Gold Stars we were able to use MyChart and Haiku to help support a more efficient workflow. The patient being able to answer their MRI Screening Form from their MyChart allows an opportunity to expedite the patient/tech interview prior to their exam. 

Also allowing the anesthesia team to have access to parts of their workflow on a hand-held device via Haiku can support how the anesthesiologists float and stay up to date on their ongoing cases. 

In both projects it was really cool to learn parts of the MyChart and Haiku build while gaining a better understanding of their workflows.

JL: Were there any hiccups with buy-in or build?

MB: None, luckily. With the strong support of my team and good communication, both Gold Stars were implemented with little risk. While there were no hiccups, we did our best to mitigate the risk of hiccups through peer review testing, developing and distributing step-by-step tip sheets and conducting demos to the end users.

JL: What process did you follow? Any tips for how your team worked together?

MB: I worked closely with others on my team which included an architect and Epic TS who helped identify the Gold Stars that could be implemented. 

Once those Gold Star projects were established, I was able to use a combination of Galaxy Build Guides and Build Wizards to help move the build along. 

Once build and initial testing was completed, I held a “Team Demo” to get the team up to speed on the build, testing and workflow that would be followed. We also completed peer review testing. 

Finally, I worked with the education team to help develop the step-by-step tip sheet. Before implementation, we discussed these Gold Stars in our leadership meeting with the operational team, demonstrated the functionality and answered questions.

JL: Do you have recommendations for someone trying to work towards getting more Gold Stars for their team?

MB: Here are three recommendations:

  1. Start by finding those quick win or most requested Gold Stars. 
  2. Make sure your TS is involved so that he/she can guide you on the criteria needed to meet the Gold Star standard and also how to best start the build.
  3. Develop an implementation plan early so you can determine how much education will be needed to help clinicians adopt the Gold Star functionality into their workflow.

Wrap up

A few key takeaways to help your organization achieve the next level in the Epic Gold Stars program:

  • Start with clear strategic communication. Communicate early — not only with end users and operations but also with the technical and education teams. This increases the buy-in and allows the build items to be implemented more easily.
  • Identify the “why” behind the build items. This helps the analyst see the impact of their hard work and drives the project forward. When the technical team is passionate about the build, operations will feel that, too.
  • Prioritize engagement. To get started on your Gold Star path, early engagement is key. Schedule time with your TS to capitalize on quick-wins and get an implementation plan mapped out.
Overall, striving for 10 Gold Stars shows your organization values the improvement that healthcare technology can bring to care providers and patients. The process to achieve the next level encourages a culture of collaboration among clinical, operations and technology team members and establishes a precedent for adopting change that will have lasting operational impact, even outside of the Epic space.
About the Author:
Julie Lamasters

Epic Clinical Applications Manager at CereCore

Put Us to Work

Let us know how we can support your initiatives and take some of the heavy lifting from healthcare IT.