- A recent agreement between Tahoe Forest Health Systems and Mercy Technology Services will allow Mercy to introduce Epic EHR to patients and providers at the California district hospital.
“Our goal was to find a partner with the same innovative mindset– partnering with us to blaze new paths to bring health and wellness to communities,” said Tahoe Forest Health System’s Chief Executive Officer Harry Weis.
Mercy, the sixth largest Catholic healthcare system in the country, is the first provider given approval to extend Epic EHR services to healthcare organizations because of its success in implementing and utilizing the EHR technology. Mercy has been offering its technical and consulting services to the marketplace since 2014.
Mercy’s IT division offers assistance to hospitals with Epic EHR implementation through a software-as-a service (SaaS) partnership to ease the transition from paper to electronic health records or assist health systems with multiple disparate systems in transitioning to a single EHR platform.
Providing SaaS services to smaller and midsized hospitals like that of the Tahoe Forest Health System aligns with Mercy’s mission to improve patient care for all hospitals in its network through accountable care organizations and other population health management initiatives.
“We’re surrounded by mountains and world class recreation and ski areas, which means we see a lot of tourists during certain seasons and on the weekends. We need the ability to flex and be nimble in our services,” said TFHS Chief Information and Innovation Officer Jake Dorst, “What I really like about Mercy is, even though it’s a large organization, it shares our entrepreneurial spirit and it’s agile — always pushing technology forward in its quest to best serve patients.”
The ability for MTS to make Epic EHR implementation more cost-effective appeals to hospitals with limited resources.
“Moving from seven different EHRs to a single, unified patient record is a high priority for TFHS,” said Dorst. “This will help us build on our population health and community outreach initiatives, and coordinate better care between systems and specialties. We need a system like Epic and a partner like Mercy to help us make it right — really get it going from the ground up.”
Mercy’s IT division views extending Epic services as a way to promote best practices among providers while also extending their own patient community.
“We are honored to partner with a like-minded innovator such as Tahoe Forest, and stretch our mission to help improve the health of patients in these mountain counties,” said Mercy CIO Gil Hoffman. “With Mercy, Tahoe will have a mission-centered partner to grow with into the future with near-term strategic value from EHR services, and the option for mid- and longer-term solutions like big data analytics and virtual care to reach patients in hard-to-reach places.”
With Mercy’s proven track record with successfully implementing Epic EHR technology, Tahoe Forest intends to ensure higher quality care to more patients than ever before.
“We chose Mercy because of its experience. Mercy was one of the few solutions we evaluated that has an in-house team that has done this so long that all the pieces gel. They know how to be successful, and they won’t leave town the day after go-live,” Dorst stated.
With the help of virtual servers, MTS improves EHR and utilizes virtualization to improve HIT system connectivity among its network to improve efficiency. Through virtualization, Mercy reached its goal of centralizing its IT infrastructure in order to ensure none of its locations needed to host data on-site and could instead rely on Mercy’s consolidated data center.