Electronic Health Records

Adoption & Implementation News

Mercy makes its Epic EHR expertise commercially available

By Kyle Murphy, PhD

EHR software as a service (SaaS) solutions aren’t new to the healthcare industry, but the approach taken by a sixth-largest Catholic healthcare system in the United States to EHR adoption certainly represents a first.

The technology services division of Mercy is first provider to be accredited by the Epic Connect program, which will enable the Missouri-based health system to provide implementation, application, and hosting services of its physician-enhanced Epic EHR to other healthcare organizations and providers. The accreditation is the result of Mercy meeting requirements established by Epic around system success, user adoption, and user satisfaction.

“What’s unique about Mercy’s system is the years we have spent optimizing it for performance in the real world,” Mercy Technology Services CIO Gil Hoffman said in a public statement. “Mercy Technology Services put in 600 optimizations last year alone.”

This expertise is the motivation behind bringing Mercy’s technical and consulting services to the commercial marketplace, and it is the culmination of close to a decade of work to integrate its various hospitals, outpatient clinics, urgent care facilities, labs, and imaging facilities spanning several states via a comprehensive EHR system.

According to Mercy’s leadership, its offering of SaaS EHR services and support are part of its mission to raise level of care for patients and populations at Mercy and partnering sites in the form of accountable care organizations (ACOs) and other population health management initiatives. Its target market comprises small to mid-size hospitals unable to operate and secure the onsite infrastructure necessary to support the Epic platform.

“What’s exciting is the ability we now have to integrate Epic data with claims data and other external sources to manage patient populations and meet ACO requirements. We’re harnessing the EHR to take us to the next level of clinical and business performance,” added Mercy President and CEO Lynn Britton.

With many of the nation’s leading EHR adopters using an Epic EHR, might Mercy’s decision serve as a model to other health systems looking to maximize their investment in health IT?

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