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2020 Coronavirus Update – Epic, Meditech and Athenahealth

The coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a respiratory infection that originated from Wuhan, China. According to John Hopkins’ updated 2019-nCoV outbreak tracker, there have been more than 60,100+ cases (59,000+ of the cases are just from Mainland China) confirmed globally and about 1,370 deaths as of February 13th, 2020. On January 31st, 2020 the 2019-nCoV outbreak was officially declared by the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization as a “public health emergency of international concern”.  The president of the U.S. signed a presidential “Proclamation on Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Persons who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus”.

The spread of the threat originated from Wuhan, China which linked to a large seafood and live animal market.  Although most of those who were infected were mainly through person-to-person rather than the market.  The situation in the U.S. is not as drastic as China.  The virus has been detected here in the U.S. but is not being spread person-to-person.   The U.S. is taking unprecedented steps by monitoring whose who are coming in and out of from China.

Epic Systems has pushed out a software update to help detect the coronavirus.  Epic has taken steps on standardizing the new travel screening questionnaire to help healthcare organizations to ask patients about recent travel.  The questionnaire will help follow up with if the patient either needs to be isolated or other precautions.  Epic Travel and Communicable Disease Advisory Board is also working on updating their software to help detect possible cases of 2019-nCoV.

Epic is not the only one helping with the 2019-nCoV, Meditech also released documentation tools within its EHR software to help clients screen and manage patients who have been infected with the virus.  With the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Meditech’s documentation tool is able to provide, “clinical decision support, including guidance on how to build and implement a series of queries, connect queries to questionnaires and create logic that can be used to alert and notify staff.”

Athenahealth also adds screening tools to their software to help against the 2019-nCoV, also with guidelines and questionnaires to help aid healthcare organizations.


This article was created by Stephanie Sok, Business Researcher, Global Healthcare IT, Inc. with assistance from the following base line articles: For more on each please click on the link.

Stephanie can be reached on


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