Tapestry: What You Need to Know About One of Epic’s Oldest Modules

Perspective from Jason Kulaga, Practice Director, Healthcare Solutions, Medix Technology 

If you’re an experienced Tapestry consultant, you may want to skip to the end where I mention we have two large Tapestry installs in progress and more on the way. For the rest of us, “tapestry” is a word that we probably associate more with the armor court at an art museum than planning add-on Epic implementations. It may surprise you to learn that Tapestry is one of Epic’s oldest modules, originally developed to manage operations for healthcare payors. Before the rise of ACOs, quality-based reimbursement and the concept of a “payvider”, very few organizations, most located on the west coast, actively used Tapestry. With more healthcare organizations moving into the managed care and alternative payment model space, this is rapidly changing.

Tapestry at a Glance

Tapestry consists of multiple modules encompassing member enrollment and eligibility, plan benefits, referrals and authorization, utilization management, customer relationship management, contracting and claims, accounts payable and member premium billing. Depending on your needs, a full Tapestry implementation may include some or all of these modules. The needs of an insurance payor will be very different from a hospital taking on risk management of a Medicaid population. Regardless of the specific module mix, staffing and training a project team for Tapestry can be challenging with eleven different types of certification available. Most Tapestry implementations last from anywhere from nine to eighteen months, and require an integrated team of project managers, analysts, principal trainers, business intelligence developers and conversion/interface engineers.

Preparing for Tapestry Implementation

Whether your organization is new to Epic or adding Tapestry to an existing implementation, a Tapestry install requires careful planning and coordination of build resources to ensure success. In addition to core functionality requiring complex build, such as Benefit Engine or Contracts Configuration, importing member demographics, plan data and claims will often require conversion and/or interface engineer support. Replicating existing reporting needs and building analytics to leverage the operational data that will be captured within Tapestry need to be a major focus of all Tapestry implementations. Adding skilled business intelligence developers to your implementation team is an important component of leveraging the capabilities of Tapestry and the entire integrated Epic system to maximize the positive impact on workflows and operational efficiency. An important contributor to any successful implementation is a clear focus on end user workflow and system functionality training. Training is especially important as part of a success plan for Tapestry implementations due to the powerful functionality and wide range of job roles and processes included.

Adding Healthy Planet

Like adding jelly to peanut butter or a pinch of cayenne to chocolate, many organizations choose to spice up their Tapestry implementations by also including Healthy Planet. Healthy Planet is Epic’s solution for accountable care and population health; it is used to manage and track clinical and social determinants of health. By leveraging Tapestry’s strengths in member management, registration and billing and combining it with Healthy Planet’s dashboards and analytics designed to provide insight into population health, risk factors and determinants of health, teams can create a complete tool for managing the clinical and financial needs of large populations. As our healthcare system makes its slow transition from fee-for-service to quality-based reimbursement, these tools are critical components of healthcare IT.

Is your team beginning to plan a new EHR implementation? Connect with Medix Technology today to learn more about our unique solutions. f

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