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6 EHR Implementations, Go-Lives Slated for Completion in 2018

Epic, MEDITECH, athenahealth, and Cerner are set to complete EHR implementations at hospitals across the country this year.

EHR Implementations

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- In 2017, several hospitals and health systems signed EHR implementation deals with large enterprise health IT companies — some clocking in at over $1 billion — as these healthcare organizations undergo EHR replacements. Whether their investments pay will hinge on their handling of the adoption of new EHR systems.

Here are six EHR implementations expected to launch this year.

Expansion of DoD, Cerner MHS Genesis

After completing its initial Operational Capability program implementation of MHS Genesis for the Department of Defense (DoD) in October, Cerner plans to commence broader system deployment in 2018.

Cerner President Zane Burke stated during the health IT company’s third quarter 2017 earnings call that MHS Genesis would continue to go live at more DoD care sites this year. DoD awarded the MHS Genesis contract to Leidos --which partnered with Cerner on the project -- for $4.3 billion in an effort to standardize and update its legacy infrastructure.

Last year, Cerner successfully completed MHS Genesis implementations at four Pacific-Northwestern DoD care sites including Madigan Army Medical Center, Naval Hospital Bremerton, Fairchild Air Force Base, and Naval Hospital Oak Harbor.

READ MORE: EHR Implementation Projects Impact EHR Optimization Efforts

“These are significant milestones as we have now deployed a full set of capabilities, and these go lives keep us on schedule to begin broader deployment next year,” said Burke.

Cerner also hopes to make progress on its EHR implementation contracting with VA this year, though negotiations are still underway. VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, has testified the first VA care site will go live with a Cerner system 18 months after a contract is finalized.

In addition to its ongoing work with DoD and VA, Cerner hopes to land contracts with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Cost Guard, Indian Health Facilities, and State Medicaid Programs.

Epic implementation at Mayo Clinic

This year, Mayo Clinic will transition care sites in Minnesota, Florida, and Arizona to an Epic EHR.

These Epic implementations are part of Mayo Clinic’s $1.5 billion project to integrate all of its patient health records into a single Epic system. So far, Epic houses more than 200,000 patient records for Mayo Clinic care sites in Wisconsin.

READ MORE: Do EHR Implementations Have Negative Short-Term Effects?

Mayo Clinic’s Rochester, Minnesota site will be the first to go live this year, with a launch date set for May 2018. Sites in Arizona and Florida will follow in October.

"The total cost of Mayo Clinic technology investments is estimated at $1.5 billion over multiple years,” said Mayo Clinic CIO Christopher Ross. “Only a portion of this goes toward the electronic health record and revenue cycle replacement. The majority of this expense is for Mayo staff involved in complex design decisions and configuring the Epic software to meet Mayo's specific needs.” 

Mayo Clinic has established a training and command center at a Rochester facility to serve as a headquarters for all activities related to the transition.

athenahealth EHR replacement at Hiawatha Hospital Association

Hiawatha Hospital Association's switch from a Paragon EHR system to an athenahealth EHR platform is expected to be completed August 1, 2018. 

The Kansas-based hospital association includes Hiawatha Community Hospital (HCH), Hiawatha Family Practice Clinic, and the Highland Clinic.

READ MORE: Smart EHR Implementation Decisions Key to Usability Improvements

“This is a big move for our hospital and a great one," said HCH Board Member Mandy Graham. "As a clinician, I’m not only excited for the clinical personnel impacted by this positive move, I am excited that the community will have ease of access to their personal health information more than ever before.”

Hiawatha opted to switch from EHR vendor Paragon to athenahealth partly because the latter  specializes in small to medium-sized hospitals and physician practices.

The hospital association’s decision to replace its Paragon EHR followed the Allscripts-McKesson acquisition. The deal was valued at $185 million.

Epic Implementation at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services

After approving a multi-million dollar Epic implementation investment in October of 2017, Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services plans to fully implement the system across all clinical programs by June of this year.

The Michigan-based behavioral health system is the first in the country to partner directly with Epic. Pine Rest partner hospitals including Metro Health, University of Michigan Health, Spectrum Health, Sparrow Health, and Lakeland Health System already operate on Epic EHR platforms.

“The head and the body belong together,” said Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner. “This collaboration will help Pine Rest take care of the whole patient though both an integrated record and the improved interoperability they will gain with Care Everywhere.”

Pine Rest will use the Care Everywhere interoperability platform and Great Lakes Health Connect to enable health data exchange with hospitals using different EHR systems.

The organization has not disclosed the official cost of the deal.

MEDITECH Go-Live at Steward Health Care System

A health system-wide MEDITECH EHR implementation is expected to launch in four states by the start of 2018.

Eight hospitals part of Steward Health Care System across Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida will implement MEDITECH’s recently released Web EHR in the early days of this year. The health system has been a MEDITECH user for 19 years and intends to further expand its relationship with the company to improve provider workflows and increase clinical efficiency.

"Steward is committed to providing world class care in a more coordinated, efficient manner in the communities where our patients live," said Steward Health Care System Chief Information Officer Julie Berry. "Expanding our MEDITECH EHR throughout the organization was a key component in moving us toward a more integrated healthcare delivery."

The accountable care organization (ACO) and physician-led healthcare organization includes 36 facilities. Prior to implementing MEDITECH Web EHR, Steward operated on the health IT company’s legacy EHR platform.

Epic Implementation at Shepherd Center

Piedmont Healthcare is extending its Epic EHR platform to Shepherd Center as part of a recent hospital-to-hospital hosting agreement.

The two Atlanta-based hospitals intend to improve care coordination between facilities and enable more efficient transitions of care among care teams. As a rehabilitation hospital specializing in spinal cord and brain injuries, Shepherd Center includes both inpatient and outpatient programs.

Piedmont completed its EHR implementation in 2012. The not-for-profit integrated health system includes eight hospitals, nearly 100 physicians, and several specialist offices throughout the greater Atlanta and North Georgia region. Improving care coordination between Piedmont and Shepherd is especially important since over half of Shepherd’s rehabilitation patients receive care at both facilities. The hospitals are currently connected by an underground tunnel.

 “With more than 50 percent of our patients requiring surgical or other acute medical care procedures at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, about 80 percent of our consulting physicians being Piedmont physicians, and more than 60 percent of our top referral sources already using Epic, this partnership makes strategic sense,” said Shepherd Center President and CEO Sarah Morrison.

The EHR implementation process will begin at Shepherd early this year, and is expected to go-live in February of 2019. 

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