University Hospitals puts a bow on new Epic EHR rollout

Cleveland-based University Hospitals this week announced that it had completed its years-long migration to a single Epic electronic health record across its care sites.

Leaders at the health system said the implementation – where more than 5.6 million patient records and scheduling systems were converted to one platform – is a “transformational moment” that will lead to better care delivery from its providers and a more connected experience for its patients.

Robert K. Eardley, chief information officer of UH, said the value of a unified patient record to enable more effective and efficient care delivery was a lodestar for University Hospitals as it pursued this long and complex initiative.

“For many years, our caregivers have had to coordinate the best care for our patients using the tools in nearly twenty different computer applications,” he explained. “Moving all of that care to a single integrated record with Epic will allow our exceptional caregivers to more efficiently find the right information and more easily document the best next step of care for that individual. This will enhance the personalized and compassionate approach to care for which we are known.”

Beyond a comprehensive single EHR for clinicians, the move will help boost access for patients by enabling easier scheduling through MyChart – which will integrate patients’ records at UH with their records at other healthcare organizations around Northeast Ohio and nationwide.

University Hospitals joins several other major health systems nationwide that have made the full-on switch to an all-Epic system. This past month, Intermountain Healthcare and UPMC announced major new EHR migrations. Boston Children’s Hospital plans to make the move as well.

And University Hospitals’ nearby competitor/collaborator Cleveland Clinic is also making some significant research innovations using data from MyChart.

Earlier this year, we showed how UH turned a virtual care application designed for COVID-19 response into a multiuse digital health tool that helps manage capacity in EDs and urgent care centers while boosting care for chronic conditions.

“In implementing Epic, our guiding principle was to put the patient first in all of our decision making,” said Eardley. “Over the past several years, this process has touched nearly every single one of our caregivers, and each one of them has taken that principle to heart. Training and preparing nearly 30,000 caregivers has been a monumental effort, and when we went ‘live’ they were supported by over 6,000 personnel to ensure that our caregivers are equipped to deliver exceptional quality of care even during this transition. Our patients deserve it.”

“This implementation showcases the heart of University Hospitals,” added the health system’s chief executive officer Dr. Cliff Megerian. “At a time of continued adversity for many health systems, UH has chosen to invest in the latest and greatest of technologies, and essentially replace the ‘central nervous system’ of our hospitals. In doing so, we are confident that this will become a differentiator in the way we care for patients, and will allow us to continue to deliver service excellence.”

Mike Miliard is executive editor of Healthcare IT News
Email the writer: [email protected]

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS publication.

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