VERONA, WI – Citing demand from overwhelmed physicians, Epic spokesperson Kaitlynn Mulligan announced the enterprise electronic health record software’s newest feature: Jesus Take the Wheel, or JTW. With JTW activated, physicians no longer need to enter their own orders, write notes, document examinations, or respond to messages. According to the statement, JTW is meant for “times of despair, insurmountable complexity, or burnout.”
Epic has been developing the feature for the past year in collaboration with several religiously affiliated client hospital systems. Dr. Anthony Henry, MD, a hospitalist at St. Otto Hospital, was a consultant on the project. “There are cases when I want to throw my hands in the air and leave everything up to a higher power,” he said. “What we have developed is the opportunity to refer to the ultimate second opinion.”
The feature, available with the 2020 upgrade, adds a crucifix icon to the drop-down menu when a user hovers over the patient’s photograph within the electronic health record. Users decide whether to assign the so-called Jesus Flag to a specific diagnosis, a particular hospital stay, or to the entirety of the patient’s chart. When the flag is applied, a halo is superimposed onto the patient’s photo, a visual indication that Dr. Christ is on the case. From there, the system takes over, generating orders, notes, and other documentation autonomously. Physicians and other care providers may still access the patient’s records to monitor activity.
The technological side of the development process was not without challenges. “Developing an interface with Heaven was arduous,” Ms. Mulligan explained. “Our Aramaic translation algorithm needed some brushing up.” She described conference calls that stretched on into eternity with frequent interruptions on Jesus’ side due to more pressing matters, like answering the prayers of professional athletes. There was also the difficulty of persuading skeptics, many of whom remained unconvinced in the project’s potential until testing began. Dr. Henry recounted the first successful JTW test: “Watching those orders place themselves, notes appear out of nowhere. It was truly miraculous.”
When asked whether interfaces with other deities would be made available, Ms. Mulligan excitedly confirmed that Epic is in discussion with Buddha, Zeus, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster: “We really are just at the beginning of divine interfaces.”