What is Epic Beacon?

epic-beacon“Hope is the beacon which points to prosperity,” said political and philosophical author Edward Counsel. True to Counsel’s quote, Epic Systems hopes its Epic Beacon software will be the ray of hope in finding, tracking and curing cancer.

Epic Beacon is Epic Systems’ medical oncology module, in which physicians can document cancer staging and manage chemotherapy by creating and personalizing treatment plans based on standard oncology protocols, according to Epic’s product catalog.

Decision support can suggest protocols as well as dose specific medication modifications based on chart data, and plans are tailored at the patient level, so medication orders can be created and queued up in advance of patient visits for cancer treatment. The plan follows the patient through outpatient doctor’s visits and inpatient hospital stays, which clinicians can track through a treatment summary, easing the patient’s transition to survivorship and lifetime, post-cancer care.

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Epic Beacon is fully integrated with Epic’s pharmacy and electronic MAR products, so oncologists can track medications that have been dispensed and administered, including medications ordered outside of an oncology treatment plan (in “lifetime cumulative dose checks”).

In 2009, the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center, replaced its previous oncology EMR system with Epic Beacon, and in 2014, UCH reported from a survey of the medical oncologists and oncology nursing staff that 71% of physicians felt Beacon had made patient treatment easier for providers.

“UCH had an existing oncology EMR; however, integration of the new oncology EMR (Beacon) with the full EMR has made it easier for the care team to see the whole patient record (imaging, pathology, etc.) and to acess all information when making treatment decisions,” said Lisa Bellamy, BS, and Thomas Purcell, MD, MBA, in a summary article to CancerNetwork.com. “Well over half of the nursing staff feel Beacon has made it easier to provide safe care for patients; they cite the ability to see the whole patient record.”