IRON RIVER — Epic changes are happening at a local health system, making it easier for patients and health care providers to access health records.

Epic is the name of a new E.M.R. system at NORTHSTAR Health System in Iron River. Hospitals across the country have begun to use E.M.R., or electronic medical records, including here in the U.P., because of a requirement in the Affordable Care Act.

Project Manager, Jennifer Skarlupka–Reetz says, “So Epic is known for it’s customer satisfaction, and it’s a very responsive and fast program. It allows providers to be more efficient.”

For providers and staff, having these electronic medical records means more bedside time with the patients. That’s not the only change though, the program will allow patients to have access to their health records and other services online.

Clinical Informatics Nurse Specialist, Becky Krause says, “Patients involvement will increase greatly, as they start to use MyAspirus, or MyChart, which is what the Epic terminology is for it. They’ll be able to schedule appointments, see what the medical record is that the providers are in fact using themselves.”

Epic is supposed to makes the process of visits seamless for providers, and for patients, even if they need to hop from provider to provider, specialist to specialist or even location to location. According to CEO of NORTHSTAR Health System, Connie Koutouzos, the hospital staff has put in 66,000 of budgeted time preparing for the launch which is set for Sunday, August 23.