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NC Health System Adds Epic Patient Monitoring Technology

A North Carolina healthcare organization recently engaged Epic’s Healthy Planet patient monitoring technology for improved preventive care.

Epic EHR

Source: Thinkstock

- Novant Health is the latest to join a handful of other healthcare organizations as users of Epic’s newest patient monitoring technology.

The North Carolina provider will use Epic’s Healthy Planet link to share dashboard information regarding current health trends with patients and physicians through Epic’s patient portal MyChart.

According to Epic, Healthy Planet is an offshoot of Epic’s accountable care and population management system module developed according to Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements mandating hospitals offer EHR access to patients and providers.

“Over their lifetime, most people will see multiple providers, undergo a variety of screenings, and experience health emergencies,” said Novant CIO Dave Garrett. “It is important that healthcare providers within the Novant system, and those practicing outside of our system, have access to this valuable patient information so they can provide appropriate preventive care.”

Healthy Planet is designed to lower costs for both patients and hospitals with better care coordination, improved quality of care, and reduced financial risk.

Novant officials stated the connection to Healthy Planet offers providers retrospective, real-time, and predictive analytics.

Additionally, Healthy Planet equips healthcare organizations with risk scoring tools, chronic disease and wellness registries, operational reports with clinical drill-down, and quality measurement.

“We are committed to securely increasing access to valuable patient information so that providers can offer our patients quality, coordinated care, when and where they need it,” said Garrett.

Novant spent $600 million over five years on its EHR adoption in an effort to reduce preventable readmission rates, improve hospital efficiency, and prevent duplicate or unnecessary ordering of drugs and tests.

The four-state health network has been using its Epic EHR system since August of 2014.

University of California Health Center completes Epic EHR implementation

Another health organization recently implemented its Epic EHR for the first time.

University of California Riverside (UCR) Health Center recently began using its Epic EHR at each of its clinical sites as part of a partnership with University of California San Diego Health.

UCR Health officials anticipate significant benefits following the implementation.

“For example, if a patient is visiting a UCR Health physician for the first time and shares that they previously visited a physician that used Epic, anywhere in the world, we can query and receive their medical records in just a matter of minutes,” said CMIO at UCR Health John Luo, MD. “It also provides benefits to physicians through population health tools, best practice alerts, and a number of quality improvements created by UCSD Health.”

UC San Diego Health began its Epic EHR use back in 2005. With UCR’s adoption of Epic technology, health data exchange will improve across the UC network presenting unique opportunities for research.

“Having UCR healthcare data in Epic makes it easier for researchers to combine that data with data from the other UC Health Systems,” Luo added. “The combined dataset of all UC Health systems together will provide unique insights for research.  For example, if one UC health system has best practices for managing opiate prescribing in Epic, we can easily adopt those decision supports as well.”

The UCR School of Medicine Office of Information Technology (OIT) team worked alongside the UC San Diego Health Information Services team over 10 weeks to install Epic at existing UCR health sites.

“It was two projects in one. We had already tested Epic at the Silver Oaks, Riverbrock and Airport Towers sites before we got to Citrus Tower, but there it was two projects going on simultaneously,” said UCR CIO Armando Gauna. “It was challenging, because Epic alone was a huge project.”

UCR has already begun using the technology at clinics in departments including women’s health, neurosurgery and pain management, psychiatry, neurology, neuropsychology, plastic surgery, and primary care.

A recent Black Book report also named Epic as one of the leading population health management companies in the market today alongside Cerner.

The two health IT vendors have expanded their services to include functionalities necessary for risk stratification, patient engagement, and patient monitoring.  

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