While the Epic software supporting the Connect Care clinical information system (CIS) allows multiple health care providers to work with the same patient chart, there are limits. Were two providers to be editing exactly the same progress note at the same time, for example, conflicts could occur. Errors are prevented by limiting the users working on exactly the same task at the same time.
Unfortunately, protecting the integrity of the chart also demands good manners of users. Working in some areas of the chart will prevent others from working in the same area, even though they may have read-only access. Finding a chart section locked when urgent orders need to be entered could even present a safety risk. Accordingly, it is very important to develop good chart review habits, avoiding locking out other users inappropriately or for longer than absolutely necessary. As a general protective, always close charts when finished with them and NEVER walk away from a terminal with a chart left open.
Chart activities that can lock vary by clinical user and activity. The following explains what to do when blocked: