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How to Get Epic Access for Users in Department of Medicine

Epic access is tightly controlled for obvious reasons. Gaining access to it is usually a complicated and difficult process, and most of the time a confusing process for most people, especially for people in school of medicine. Basing on hundreds of access request processes and configurations that we have worked on over the years, I will try to outline the process as clearly as SHC has made it possible. 

First of all, there are two distinct categories of users - staff and physicians, and they use different channels for Epic access and subsequent support. Physician's channel is well defined and streamlined, and has been working relatively well. This channel is almost entirely owned and processed at SHC, it requires minimal involvement from us. Basically, a physician will be credentialed by SHC MSO and be granted access. End of story until subsequent support issues come up which we help all the time. 

The channel for staff is where things get complicated and confusing. For a typical new user, there are 4 distinct and artificially divided steps to take and complete before getting into Epic. 

  1. Request for access permission and approval of that permission
  2. Complete required Epic training online
  3. Configure computer to access Epic
  4. Request for customized view of Epic

1. Request for access permission and approval of that permission

SHC IT security controls access and grants access permissions to new users basing on user manager's request and subsequent approval by authorized approver. This used to be a catch 22 problem in the Department, but a system had been put in place and has solved this problem so now all division managers or their designates can submit requests at http://medicine.stanford.edu/shc.html, or by going to http://medicineit.stanford.edu and clicking on the link "Help with SHC Access". 

One potential confusion at this step is something called offline access request form. I recommend not to bother with it at all. And if you haven't heard about it, all the better. That is an old option developed for situations that don't really apply nowadays, certainly not in the Department. 

2. Complete required Epic training online

After approval of access permission, user will be getting a SID and will be required to call the helpdesk at 3-3333 to get their password. Most importantly, at this interaction user is supposed to get information from the helpdesk on how and where to get online Epic training. In the majority of cases, users will get just that and be able to go to http://www.healthstream.com/hlc/stanford and use a separate set of ID and password to start and complete online Epic training. In rare cases, helpdesk does not have this information established yet when user calls in and may not have it until user initiates a follow up action. To initiate follow-up action please send an email to both healthstream@stanfordmed.org and to EpiCenterUniversity@stanfordmed.org stating specifically and clearly that they already have SID and access permission to Epic but need a training account created on HealthStream. User would typically get the required information back within next business day and use the assigned login and password to get in and complete the training. 

Of note here: There are unique IDs/passwords for online Epic training and Epic access.  

3. Configure computer to access Epic

Access to Epic on SHC network is considered intranet access and has full set of features of Epic system. SoM computers are not on SHC network, and can access Epic in either of the following two ways.

  • One is to access it on a special network called SUMCnet that acts as a virtual extension of SHC network so is considered intranet access. The biggest benefits of this access are authentication through SID only without secure token and ability to print. There are also other benefits to specialized components and applications within Epic such as Centricity etc. The URL for this access is https://portal.stanfordmed.org
  • Another is to access it remotely anywhere on the internet through Citrix gateway server with URL at https://portal.stanfordhospital.org. This access requires an additional security components - RSA secure token, and it lacks printing ability. 

Potential confusions at this step are two URLs for different ways of access, and the function of RSA. RSA token can be installed on desktop computers, laptops, iPads, iPhones, Android devices, it generates a random number of few digits that you use to supplement when trying to log in remotely. It's not to confuse with mobile access of Epic through Apps called Haiku and Canto which are detailed here 

4. Request for customized view of Epic

Other than physicians, staff access Epic in read only mode. But even within that mode, the views can be different and be customized basing on your specific role. Ideally, SHC IT security wants a model user to mirror the views, but in rare cases where such model user is not known, the user can initiate an email to EpiCenterUniversity@stanfordmed.org to schedule training for that specific component. The view can be then upgraded after completion of training. 

One potential confusion here is the communication with SHC, just make sure to send emails to EpiCenterUniversity@stanfordmed.org. 

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