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Epic Leads EHR Implementations, Cerner EHR Selections in 2016

Epic Systems saw EHR implementations in several large health systems, while Cerner was successful with EHR selections, cutting several major contracts in 2016.

By Sara Heath

- This past year was a good one for Epic Systems in terms of EHR implementations, with a majority of the year’s notable go-lives belonging to the vendor. But as good a year as it was for Epic with implementations, it was equally as good for Cerner and EHR selections.

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Below, EHRIntelligence.com recaps some of the top EHR implementations and EHR selections of 2016.

Mass. General Implements Epic EHR to Boost Interoperability

In April, Massachusetts General Hospital completed its Epic EHR implementation as a part of the $1.2 billion technology upgrade across Partners HealthCare.

The effort required 2,300 employees from the health network and resulted in a full EHR go-lives at MGH, as well as Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear.

READ MORE: Maury Regional Picks Cerner, MidMichigan to Launch Epic EHR

These facilities join other Partners care sites including Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Center.

Having all of these providers on the Epic EHR will help clinicians at different sites communicate about their patients by sharing electronic health information.

“It’s a large cultural transformation,” said Dr. O’Neil Britton, CIO at Partners HealthCare. “It is the first time that all these organizations will be on the same record, which means a lot for our clinicians and our patients. This is the reason we embarked on this journey.”

NYU Lutheran Launches Epic EHR to Boost Patient Care

Early this fall, NYU Lutheran fully completed its Epic EHR transition.

READ MORE: Epic Competitor Cerner Wins $33M Contract with Wisconsin DHS

Part of the NYU Langone Health System, the hospital announced a successful go-live at all of its Brooklyn facilities, its 22 ancillary systems, NYU Lutheran Medical Center, NYU Lutheran Family Health Centers, and all affiliated practices, according to a press release.

Funded in part by a $29.9 million grant from the New York State Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program, the Epic EHR was installed to help improve interoperability and health data exchange between all of NYU’s treatment facilities.

“The go-live of Epic in our Family Health Centers brings us one step closer to realizing our goal of connecting all of our patients and providers and transforming care in Brooklyn,” said Larry K. McReynolds, Executive Director of NYU Lutheran Family Health Centers. “As we continue to go live across the network and in our school-based health centers, we are extremely excited about Epic’s ability to immediately improve communication between patients and physicians regarding treatment plans, lab test results, appointments, medications, and self-monitoring.”

Top-Ranked Cancer Hospital Completes Epic EHR Implementation

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center also completed an Epic implementation this year.

READ MORE: Top 10 Ambulatory EHR Vendors by Physician Practice EHR Implementations

The new EHR will replace an old one, according to reports, although details about the health system’s previous vendor have not been disclosed.

Additionally, the financial details of the implementation were not made publically available.

However, data from Definitive Healthcare estimate that the health system works with a health IT operating budget of $69.2 million and an estimated capital budget of $38.7 million, providing some insight into the scale of the project.

Bay-Area Home Health Provider Completes Epic Implementation

Epic Systems saw yet another completed EHR implementation this year, this one at Pathways, a northern California home healthcare agency.

The EHR went live on November 1, and connected the provider to 12 million patients at 19 other healthcare organizations throughout the area including Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Stanford Health, Sutter Health, and the University of California Health System including UC Davis and UCSF, among several others.

This connectivity will help Pathways provide better care for its home health patients, who often face disjointed care due to lacking interoperability between Pathways and their inpatient facilities.

“Being able to bring patient data together from different sources is one of the biggest challenges in healthcare,” said Brad Miller, IT Director at Pathways. “Not having all the information available in one place can cause problems such as delays in treatment, duplicate testing or conflicting prescriptions. Epic is helping us overcome that challenge by connecting us to other health systems—regardless of what EHR they use—and consolidating all of our data into one place. It makes a big difference to the quality of care we can provide. ”

Cerner Slated to Implement DoD EHR in 2017

While Epic may have closed the deal with many of its EHR clients this year by completing several go-lives, Cerner appears to several of its own implementations on the horizon.

For example, although initially delayed, Cerner expects to roll out its EHR, MHS Genesis, at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington State in February, 2017. While this is three months after its target implementation date of December, 2016, leaders from the DoD say the delay will ideally result in a stronger system.

“[The delay] also provides additional time for the program team and our vendor to implement clinical capabilities, complete cybersecurity risk management and test these capabilities prior to initial deployment,” said Stacy Cummings, DoD Program Executive Officer for Defense Health Management, in a press call.

At the time of the delay, a spokesperson from Cerner issues the following statement:

We’re pleased that we remain in good position for an on-time, enterprise-wide deployment and are able to facilitate this additional configuration and testing for the initial operating capability pilot sites so that the system is performing at an optimal level when scaled across all MHS facilities. 

Midland Health Chooses Cerner for System-Wide Implementation

Earlier this fall, Midland Health selected Cerner to supply its clinical, revenue cycle, and population health management needs.

The deal will help connect Midland Health’s many community clinics with the 474-bed Midland Memorial Hospital. Prior to the Texas-based health system’s Cerner selection, many of these facilities were using different EHR technologies.

For Midland Health executives, the move to Cerner was motivated by a need for a usable and functional technology.

“When considering which supplier would best support Midland Health, we were focused on specific important capabilities,” said Midland Health’s CFO, Stephen Bowerman.

“We required a modern, effective and robust solution for our clinicians and patients, a system that would provide clinical visibility between the physician practice and acute care setting and, lastly, a revenue cycle that was integrated with the EHR.”

Lake Health Selects Cerner for Integrated EHR

Late last spring, Lake Health selected Cerner for its integrated EHR for its employed providers and partner community physicians, according to a company press release.

The Cerner selection will reportedly help Lake Health connect with different providers within the organization, as well as with other area providers through strong health IT interoperability. Additionally, the move will allow patients to access one electronic health record through the patient portal.

The transition to Cerner is a part of the Ohio-based health system’s overall efforts to improve patient care in the region, say Lake Health executives.

“A strong relationship with our medical staff is the cornerstone of who we are, evidenced by their role in our mission and vision statements and in working with us to provide high-quality patient and family-centered health care in Lake County,” said Jerry Peters, VP and CIO for Lake Health. “Cerner’s advanced health care information technology, combined with our excellence in clinical care, will help support our goal to provide the best patient experience possible across the care continuum in northeast Ohio.”

Centra Chooses Cerner for Enterprise-Wide EHR Implementation

Centra, a large, Virginia-based health system, likewise selected the Cerner EHR last spring. According to a company press release, the health system will implement the technology at its five hospitals, more than 50 ambulatory and long-term care facilities, and health plan.

According to E.W. Tibbs Jr., President and CEO of Centra, the health system chose Cerner because it was best equipped to support providers in offering patient-centered care.

“We selected Cerner because it was the best option to provide our clinicians with a more comprehensive view of a patient’s health history, which will help us deliver the most high-quality, cost-effective care possible,” Tibbs said.

3 Hospitals Sign onto Mercy SaaS for Epic EHR Implementation

While Cerner did appear to dominate the EHR selections this year, some hospitals also tapped Epic Systems for their next technology overhaul.

At the end of June, three hospitals announced they were employing Mercy Technology Services to aid their EHR implementations through their software as a service (SaaS) offerings. Through the SaaS model, Mercy was selected to help Riverview Health in Noblesville, Indiana, Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Maryland, and McLeod Health in Florence, South Carolina.

The SaaS offerings will help each of these hospitals with their Epic EHR implementation, helping to fill in gaps where necessary. Mercy will also offer its expertise with the Epic EHR to assist each practice with the transition.

Additionally, both UMass Memorial Health System and St. Charles Health System in Oregon announced Epic Systems selections this year.

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