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California Health System Launches $20M Epic Implementation

Marshall Medical launched its Epic implementation with the help of nearby health system UC Davis Health.

Epic EHR

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Marshall Medical Center in Placerville, California, recently went live with its $20 million Epic EHR implementation.

The Epic EHR system will serve as a central database for the health system’s hospital, clinical, and home health divisions. Prior to the implementation, each division operated on separate EHR systems.

The EHR implementation will also enable Marshall Medical to participate in health data exchange with other health systems using Epic including Sutter Health, Kaiser Permanente, and UC Davis Health. Dignity Health is the only major health system in the area that does not currently operate on an Epic EHR.

“Epic is the dominant (electronic records system) provider in the area,” Marshall Medical CEO James Whipple told Sacramento Business Journal. “Information can be shared across each system.”

The health system began searching for a new EHR system about two years ago. Marshall Medical initially planned to buy the system directly from the Epic, but found it was too expensive. In an effort to bring the price down, Marshall Medical made a deal with UC Davis Health to subcontract the health system’s Epic EHR.

Epic allows large health systems to subcontract their software to smaller hospitals and health systems. Most of the $20 million investment went toward subcontracting the Epic system and purchasing compatible hardware. UC Davis is offering training and ongoing IT support to Marshall Medical staff members as part of the agreement. More than 60 UC Davis staff members have been placed in Marshall Medical for the next two weeks to assist with the system go-live.

 “An important part of our mission is to share knowledge to improve health for all," said UC Davis Medical Center CEO Ann Madden Rice. "By working with Marshall to implement its new electronic health records system, we’re enhancing patient care so physicians can have access to real-time patient data and information, which saves time, avoids duplicate diagnostic tests and potentially reduces clinical costs.” 

Marshall Medical leadership expects the Epic implementation will significantly improve care quality.

 “The biggest benefit is that all patient information is available,” said Whipple. “You have one central database with patient records and don’t have the glitches or limitations of different electronic medical record systems communicating with each other.”

Recently, Columbus Regional Health System in Indiana went live with its own Epic EHR implementation at its more than 20 network outpatient locations and practices.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to offer this technology within Columbus Regional Health Physicians,” said Columbus Regional Associate Chief Medical Officer Slade Crowder, MD. “The Epic system will not only advance patient care practices, but also the overall patient experience, with improved access to health information, enhanced patient-provider communication and easy, convenient scheduling options.”

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