Electronic Health Records

Adoption & Implementation News

NYCHHC Reaches Key Epic Implementation Milestone on Schedule

The NYC health system completed the Epic EHR implementation scheduled for April 2 without issue.

By Kyle Murphy, PhD

- D-day came and went for the Epic EHR implementation at NYC Health + Hospitals and the health system in New York City is reporting success.

Epic implementation at NYCHHC

"We are pleased to announce that the first phase of the largest public health care system implementation of the new Epic electronic medical record system went live as planned," an NYCHHC spokesperson told EHRIntelligence.com. "The transition to Epic at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst and NYC Health + Hospitals/Queens took place this morning, with more than 700 inpatients in the house, and at this time the new system is functioning well." 

"This was an immense undertaking involving more than 8,000 users, 17 different Epic systems modules and 36 ancillary systems, including labs, blood bank, radiology and more," the spokesperson continued. "We will continue to monitor the situation very closely. We thank all the staff who participated in this crucial part of the public health system’s transformation, and we look forward to the benefits the new electronic medical record system will provide to our patients."

Recent reports raised doubts about the health system's ability to have a successful Epic EHR implementation following high-level changes to management allegedly related to the implementation of the Epic EHR system.

Most recently, Michael Gartland of the New York Post reported that individuals within NYCHHC were doubtful of the Epic EHR implementation and warned of increasing threats to patient safety as a result of the health system's determination to complete the go-live on schedule.

The health system disagreed.

"The idea that we’d jeopardize patients to meet a deadline is simply wrong. If a patient safety issue is identified the project will stop until it is addressed," the NYCHHC spokesperson said in response to the report. "NYC Health + Hospitals and its Epic EHR implementation experts have assembled a team of about 900 technicians and Epic experts who will work around-the-clock through the week surrounding the transition in both Queens and at remote data centers to ensure we shift to new system as smoothly as possible."

Last summer, a New York Post report claimed the departure of NYCHCC CTO Paul Contino to be a result of the $764-million Epic EHR implementation.

At the time, the health system refuted this and similar reports:

1 – Paul Contino was terminated approximately three weeks ago for reasons unrelated to the EPIC contract or EPIC implementation.  To say that he is “the latest casualty” of the project is untrue.

2 – The project to implement EPIC remains on schedule and on budget. The personnel changes within the EPIC team did not affect the performance of the EPIC contract.  The completion date to have EPIC implemented across HHC is December 2018.  An earlier estimate was 2017, but the scope of work was expanded soon after the project began to include the integration of a laboratory system, which required additional planning and project design work.

3 - Our current estimate for the cost of EPIC implementation, including maintenance, is $764m over 6 years (FY13- FY19).  The larger figure of $1.4 billion or more is "cost of ownership," a calculation that was used previously just to compare vendors who were competing for the contract.  It does not represent the cost of implementation or the “total cost” of the project.  The EPIC contract is $303 million over 15 years, with $144 million to be paid within the first six years for implementation.

While the health system has reached this first milestone, plenty of work remains for the organization and its providers as they move forward with their Epic EHR use, which could reveal issues tied to how the Epic Systems implementation was handled.

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