Advocate Health Care is making the move to an Epic electronic health record, putting all of its facilities and its revenue-cycle management on the system.
"Transitioning to our new system-wide electronic health record will enable us to improve care coordination and operational efficiency," Advocate CEO Jim Skogsbergh said in a statement.
In December, Advocate announced plans to merge with Aurora Health Care, Wisconsin's largest healthcare provider, bringing together 27 hospitals in a $10.7 billion deal. The EHR switch will put the two health systems on the same EHR. Currently, Advocate uses a combination of Allscripts and Cerner systems.
"This transition will allow for better interoperability throughout our entire geographic region," said Dr. Bobbie Byrne, Advocate CIO, in a statement. "We are confident this single-platform EHR will be a nimble, long-term solution."
Advocate executives expect the move to an Epic EHR will take three years. Cost estimates were not immediately available.
EHR implementations can run in the hundreds of millions or more. Mayo Clinic, which has about twice the annual revenue Advocate does, is in the middle of a $1.5 billion Epic implementation set to be complete by the end of 2018. Vanderbilt, whose annual revenue is about $2 billion less than Advocate's, just finished putting in place an Epic EHR of its own. That project had a $214 million budget. Vanderbilt spent months training 18,000 users on its system, as Advocate likely will too, teaching 17,000 staff the ins and outs of a new EHR.
By: Rachel Z. Arndt