Three Healthcare Orgs Announce Epic EHR Implementations

Missouri-based Mosaic Life Care, Texas-based Harris Health, and Houston-based Legacy Community Health recently invested in Epic EHR implementations and upgrades.

Epic Systems maintains its position as the largest player in the EHR market as more healthcare organizations continue to invest in Epic EHR implementation. Epic has become one of the most widely used EHR vendors, connecting nearly 250 million patients so far and adding three more this week.

Missouri-based Healthcare System Taps Epic EHR Implementation

Mosaic Life Care, a Missouri-based healthcare system, has announced its decision to transition away from its Cerner EHR and instead will move forward with Epic Systems.

“With this change, we are moving to a best-in-class, secure, patient-focused system, which will allow us to provide tools and resources to not only our care teams but also to patients,” Mike Poore, CEO of Mosaic Life Care, said in a news release. “This change is a long-term investment Mosaic is making to improve the quality of care patients receive. Epic is the leader in electronic health medical records, and we look forward to this transformational change for our patients.”

After the March 4, 2023, go-live, patients will have access to Epic’s award-winning patient portal, using it to view their medical records, see lab results, schedule appointments, talk to their care team, and request prescription refills, among other functions.

Over the last few years, most of Cerner’s lost contracts were to Epic systems. According to a 2022 KLAS market share report based on acute care EHR purchasing activity, Cerner only had a 46 percent retention rate among legacy customers, with most of its customers switching to Epic.

Texas FQHC Receives $1M Federal Grant for Epic EHR Upgrades

Legacy Community Health, a Texas-based federally qualified community health center (FQHC), was granted $1 million in federal funding to upgrade its Epic EHR system.

“In response to the growing need for primary and preventative health care in the Houston and Fort Bend County areas, (we are) honored to receive this funding to expand our capacity to serve the community by upgrading our electronic medical records software,” Bobby Hillard, CEO of Legacy Community Health, said at a symbolic check presentation ceremony last week. “Congressman Al Green is addressing this issue head-on, and we couldn’t be more appreciative of how he is helping to change the lives of the people he represents.”

The system-wide upgrade will improve interoperability across the FQHC’s 41 clinics in Baytown, Beaumont, Deer Park, and Houston. 

Additionally, the software upgrade would help Legacy better address patient needs, while providing access to personal health information and appointment scheduling, Green said.

“Poor people don't have to suffer when they come here,” said Green. “It shouldn't be a facility that is one that doesn't invite you and provide a good environment for you. Legacy has demonstrated that poor people can have facilities that are just as nice as the ones we have in Congress. That's a big deal for me.”

Harris Health System Extends Epic Systems EHR to County Jail

Harris Health has agreed to extend its Epic Systems EHR to Harris County Jail to improve the Houston area’s health as a whole.

“The jail is one of our clinics,” Esmaeil Porsa, MD, CEO of Harris Health, said in a news release. “It just happens to be a very large clinic with a big population, and every patient is wearing an orange jumpsuit. At the end of the day, individuals in custody are members of our community.”

The Epic rollout at the jail began at Harris Health in May 2020 and was launched in November 2021. The distinct challenges of the correctional health setting, as well as the size of the population, required the Harris Health team to come up with innovative solutions.

During the implementation, a major hurdle arose due to the significant number of individuals entering and leaving the jail daily, averaging around 250 patients.

Often, patients’ personal information is incomplete or inaccurate when they arrive, and it can take days for the jail's offender management system to validate their information. However, some people require immediate medical attention for conditions ranging from acute mental health crises to dialysis.

To address this, the implementation team devised a workflow that allows clinicians to create abbreviated provisional records that include only essential demographic data such as name and date of birth, enabling them to document care promptly. Later, after the patient's details have been verified, the system automatically merges the provisional record with the appropriate existing patient record.

“After a successful go-live, Harris Health is looking to use the EHR to expand the kinds of care it can provide in the jail," the press release stated. “Harris Health has expanded the scope of virtual visits to include orthopedic, cardiac, and neurological specialty care and is looking to add more specialties in the near future. In keeping with its goal of improving the health of the community through better care in the jail, it’s also planning to use more tools focused on chronic disease management."

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