When Dr. Eric Eason saw a young patient with Duchennes muscular dystrophy, the Lee Health pediatric cardiologist got an alert in the electronic health record that the boy was eligible for the Make-A-Wish program. That led, eventually, to a wish being granted: a trip to a rain forest.
For nearly two years, Florida-based Lee Health's Epic EHR has alerted providers when their patients qualify for Make-A-Wish.
"It's an important piece of the therapy, just like medication," Eason said.
Children with life-threatening cancer diagnoses who were granted wishes through Make-A-Wish were significantly less depressed and anxious, according to a study in the journal Quality of Life Research.
Only a few health systems have automated Make-A-Wish alerts enabled in their Epic EHRs. ICD-10 codes and patient age trigger an alert. Providers can pull reports from the system to see how many times alerts have been sent.
"You can have quantifiable results on how you're impacting the number of referrals," Eason said.