VA Health System Launches $50M Epic EHR Implementation Project

The health system previously used a shared EHR system to cut costs. With Project Elevate, Valley Health will begin its own Epic EHR implementation for more flexibility and independence.

Virginia-based Valley Health System will embark on a $50 million system-wide Epic EHR implementation project, according to recent reporting from Northern Virginia Daily.

The nearly 16-month project, Project Elevate, will allow the health system to implement a customized and more robust version of Epic.

Since 2014, Valley Health hospitals, outpatient clinics, and providers have relied on Epic to document care, order tests and procedures, and communicate with patients, the healthcare team, and referring providers. 

However, the EHR system could not cater to the health system’s specific needs as it was extended to Valley Health through a partnership with Inova Health System.

“This is a pretty major endeavor for us,” Mark Nantz, Valley Health president and CEO, said during the announcement at the Winchester Medical Center Conference Center. “It’s a big lift. Most of you who were here back in 2012 and 2014, it was a lot of work then and it’ll be a lot of work now. But it’ll be our own.”

The Inova partnership helped Valley Health gain access to Epic while curbing expenses associated with an EHR implementation, officials said. 

“We are excited about this pivotal organizational change, an opportunity to move to a new, higher standard of patient-centered care,” Nantz, said in a public statement. “We have enjoyed a productive collaboration with Inova, but we have grown and our needs and circumstances have changed.”

“Our physicians, staff and patients expect and deserve greater functionality and opportunities to engage with each other,” continued Nantz. “I am confident that Project Elevate will do just that: it will elevate our patient care and experience, as well as the collaboration between our caregivers. And it will help Valley Health become a more nimble organization moving forward.”

Project Elevate will offer greater flexibility and independence as this upgraded system will be managed exclusively by Valley Health, the organization said.

In addition, the health system intends to improve responsiveness and optimize the EHR by adding laboratory, cardiology, and home health modules that are not currently on its Epic EHR.

“This is a future where we’re shooting for technology being better used to take care of our patients, to communicate with one another, to communicate with our clinicians,” Nantz said.

Epic Systems is the most widely use EHR vendor in the nation. As of publishing time, over 250 million patients are connected through Epic Systems, making it the largest EHR vendor in the country.

In July, Erie Family Health Centers went live with an OCHIN Epic EHR implementation at its 13 community health center locations across Chicago.

The OCHIN Epic EHR implementation enables Erie's community health centers to access and share EHR data with four Epic hospital partners.

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