Friday, July 27, 2012

Partners selects new electronic health record

EPIC DECISION: David Ting, MD, associate medical director for Information Systems for the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, listens to a speaker during the Commitment Day forum.

After months of thorough review and vetting, Partners HealthCare has signed a contract with Epic – a leader in health information technology that specializes in working with academic medical centers and health systems. Design and configuration work for the new electronic health record, called Partners eCare, will soon begin. It is expected to take five years before the system is fully implemented in 2017.

“Partners eCare – our new, next-generation electronic health record – offers opportunities to improve the safety, quality and efficiency of care across every part of our system,” said Partners President and CEO Garry Gottlieb, MD, during a July 11 Commitment Day forum announcing the selection. “Partners eCare is vital to meeting the demands of a challenging marketplace and making ourselves as good as we can be in advancing our mission. It will also be a key component in helping us weave together our broader systemwide strategy focusing on care redesign and patient affordability.”

The Commitment Day forum, attended by more than 130 leaders from across Partners, featured remarks from clinical and administrative leaders who highlighted a number of advantages of the new electronic health record. “The goal will be to realize a fundamental principle: that each patient will have a single record – one patient, one record – accessible everywhere throughout Partners,” said MGH President Peter L. Slavin, MD.

Other institutions that work with the Epic system include Stanford, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Dartmouth-Hitchcock and NYU, which will enable MGH clinicians to collaborate electronically with colleagues to conduct multi-institutional research work.

“The benefit of Partners eCare for our doctors, nurses and care teams is that they will have at their fingertips everything they need to provide the very best care to our patients,” said David Blumenthal, MD, chief health information and innovation officer at Partners, who leads the Partners eCare effort. “As our system looks for ways to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of our care, having better information will be foundational.” 

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