- Lovelace Health System recently completed an Epic EHR replacement process at all hospitals and clinics in its network in an effort to offer patients a single, comprehensive health record for improved quality of care.
Lovelace will use also use the Epic EHR for registration, billing, clinical applications, scheduling, and other daily operations to reduce hospital costs and improve patient satisfaction.
Additionally, the EHR replacement will streamline health data exchange with all Lovelace hospitals and medical group clinics operating on a single EHR system.
The Epic EHR will replace 80 different software systems previously in use at Lovelace hospitals.
Hundreds of the health system’s employees as well as employees from Lovelace’s parent company — Ardent Health Services — have been working to prepare Lovelace for the Epic implementation since 2016. After a conversion process lasting nearly 10 months, the EHR system officially went live on August 25, 2017.
“The team has been working diligently to prepare for this enhanced system,” said Lovelace President & CEO Ron Stern. “While it was a complex process, the benefits of Epic will improve the health of our patients while providing greater support to our clinical teams.”
The health system will also utilize Epic technology to create its own patient portal — Lovelace MyChart. Patients will have online access to the portal and the opportunity to download the Lovelace MyChart app on their mobile devices.
The portal aims to improve patient engagement at Lovelace by giving patients the ability to message doctors, complete questionnaires, and schedule their own appointments.
“This is a significant step forward on our journey to deliver high-quality care and exceptional customer service more efficiently,” said Stern. “In addition to streamlining workflow for our physicians, nurses and staff, this conversion will allow us to provide patients with the convenience of a single medical record and bill for all of our services – dramatically simplifying and improving their overall experience.”
Lovelace is the first health system part of Ardent Health Services to use Epic technology.
BSA Health System in Texas and Hillcrest Healthcare System in Oklahoma are set to go live with the Epic system in the next six months.
“Epic’s electronic health records systems will allow us to provide a more consistent record-keeping experience across the board at all of our hospitals and clinics,” said Lovelace Medical Group CEO John Cruickshank, DO, MBA, CPE.
Lovelace includes New Mexico’s fourth-largest hospital with 263 licensed beds. Health systems comprising Ardent Health Services span several states including Oklahoma, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Idaho, and New Mexico.
Recently, Meritus Health in Maryland also selected Epic System as part of a $100-million EHR contract to provide a single, integrated platform for its health system. The implementation and modernization project is expected to take five years.
During their selection process, Meritus officials visited several hospitals similar to those within its health system and ultimately chose Epic over competing health IT companies MEDITECH and Cerner.
Similar to Lovelace, Meritus hospitals serve between 250-300 licensed beds. Meritus officials selected Epic based in part on the level of clinical decision support embedded within Epic software, as well as the system’s high level of usability.
“From a provider standpoint, they looked at what the workflow looked like within the actual computer system and software,” said Meritus Health Chief Transformation Officer Carrie Adams. “They also looked at the availability of information following patient discharge, the ability to look at labs and progress notes, and the ability to follow up easily and quickly.”