VERONA, Wis. (WMTV) – After a letter from Dane County Supervisors raised questions with health officials over Epic’s re-opening plan, the electronic health records company said it is “adjusting the time frame” as it works with public health officials.
In a statement provided to NBC15, Sverre Roang, Epic’s Chief Administrative Officer said the company received a letter on Aug. 6 from Public Health Madison & Dane County regarding the plan for staff to return to in-person work on Epic’s campus.
“Throughout our planning process, we’ve been in frequent communication with PHMDC to ensure our plans are in compliance with their orders,” Raong said in the statement. “We responded to the letter on August 8th asking for clarity on their regulations and approval of our plan moving forward.”
Raong said that as Epic works with PHMDC, the time frame for employees returning to in-person work is being adjusted.
Staff was notified of these adjustments on Aug. 8. Staff who do not feel as though their personal circumstances – such as childcare or health conditions – can allow them to return to campus are no longer required to return Monday as originally planned.
Additionally, Epic says the company has recently engaged the Cleveland Clinic to review the return to work plan, as well as national public health expert Dr. Steve Ostroff and epidemiologist Dr, Nicky Quick.
“It is our hope that by working together we can be a model for other businesses around the country on how to safely bring staff back to work,” Raong said in the statement.
In a letter issued Saturday, Raong asked that PHMDC provide additional guidance and work collaboratively with Epic.
The full letter to PHMDC can be read below:
August 8, 2020
Public Health Services Supervisor
Public Health Madison & Dane County
Dear Bonnie Koenig:
We received your letter on August 6 regarding Epic’s plan for staff to return to campus. Based on your letter, we modified our return-to-work policy so that at this time staff are not required to return. We hope that you can provide us with additional guidance on your regulations. Specifically, we request that PHMDC work collaboratively with us and confirm that our plans comply with Emergency Order #8. We are committed to bringing staff back to campus.
We at Epic care deeply about the health of our staff, their families, the broader Dane County community, and the hundreds of millions of patients cared for using our software. We’ve worked tirelessly over recent months to ensure we provide a safe environment that enables our staff to do critical healthcare and public health work. We are confident that we have been and will continue to be in compliance with PHMDC’s Emergency Order #8.
We’ve been working with health experts to review our campus health and safety plans, including Dr. Stephen Ostroff, who previously served as the Acting Health Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, and return-to-work experts from Cleveland Clinic. We have also hired Dr. Nicky Quick, the former top public health official of Orange County, as our internal public health expert.
It is in the best interest of public health, Epic staff, and our community that Epic and PHMDC work collaboratively on our plan. We ask that you work with us to review and provide clear advice and approval of our plans. We, together, have a shared responsibility to protect staff health and the greater public health in the region.
Business across the country are reopening. In working together, we believe we can help establish a model for similar businesses of how to successfully bring people back to work in a way that is in the best interest of public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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