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Behavioral Health System Invests Millions in Epic Implementation

A Michigan health system will complete an Epic implementation to improve care for its 50,000 behavioral and mental health patients.

Epic EHR

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services recently approved a multi-million dollar investment in an Epic implementation at all of its facilities. The organization did not disclose the official amount of the deal.

The Pine Rest Board of Directors approved the investment in an effort to provide all 50,000 of the healthcare organization’s patients with a complete patient health record across the continuum of care. Pine Rest will be the first independent, free-standing behavioral health system 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 systems already also utilize Epic EHR.

Pine Rest will use the new EHR system to coordinate care with other hospitals and health systems using Epic. The behavioral health system will also be able to connect with hospitals not using different EHR systems through Great Lakes Health Connect.

Epic’s interoperability platform – Care Everywhere – will assist in facilitating this health data exchange.   

 “Leveraging Epic’s data sharing technology, Pine Rest will have unprecedented opportunities to coordinate care with other providers in the community and across the country,” said Pine Rest President and CEO Mark Eastburg, PhD. “This will have a profound positive impact on the care and health outcomes for those we serve, and was an important reason the team selected Epic.”

Pine Rest patients will also gain access to their own health information through Epic’s patient portal MyChart. Pine Rest expects to have fully implemented the technology across all clinical programs by June of 2018.  

“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.”

 The organization will use board designated funds, capital improvement dollars, and long-term debt to finance the implementation.

Pine Rest worked with a third-party consulting firm during the EHR selection process to evaluate different health IT companies and determine which vendor best met the organization’s needs. The organization will improve health data access and care coordination by standardizing registration procedures, information requests, and other EHR functions.

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