Top Epic EHR Implementations of 2021, So Far

Several healthcare organizations have leveraged Epic EHR implementations in 2021 to boost interoperability, care coordination, and patient care delivery.

As the digital health transformation progresses, many healthcare organizations are leveraging health IT, such as Epic EHR implementations, for enhanced interoperability.

KLAS named Epic as the top KLAS Overall Software Suite in 2021 for the eleventh year. According to the KLAS report, 94 percent of customers reported satisfaction with the EHR implementation, and 63 percent of customers reported deep interoperability with the health IT.

The following healthcare organizations, ranging from federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) to orthopedic health systems, have leveraged the health IT system year to meet the needs of 21st century care delivery.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) 

For the last eight years, UAMS Medical Center utilized Epic EHR, but its nine regional campuses leveraged separate EHR platforms.

At the beginning of the year, UAMS implemented the Epic EHR system at its regional campuses to increase interoperability across the network.

Now, a patient who gets treated at one hospital within UAMS health system can easily make her health records available to a separate hospital in the health system, or a separate hospital out of the health system that also uses Epic software.

“We have been planning for this conversion for several years, and we are pleased to be able to stay on schedule despite the challenges of COVID-19,” Michael Greer, UAMS chief information officer, said in a statement at the time of the announcement.

Southeast Health Medical Group

In February, the Alabama-based health system launched an Epic EHR system to boost care quality across the health system, according to WDHN in Dothan, Alabama.

Southeast Health Medical Group noted that the Epic EHR platform aims to strengthen interoperability between its hospital, medical school, and 22 clinics located across southern Alabama.

“Now by having one record that same information that you gave to the clinic that you were just in about your medications or your allergies or any of your history, now if you showed up at the emergency room, all that information is going to be right there with us. We can see it,” Eric Daffron, chief information officer of Southeast Health Medical Group, said in a statement at the time of the announcement.

Tower Health 

Tower Health in Pennsylvania implemented an Epic EHR system across its network of healthcare organizations in March.

The health system said the Epic EHR system will provide real-time access to health data for patients and providers, regardless of their Tower Health affiliation.

“Now, all Tower Health hospitals and physician practices are utilizing the same EHR, which is a huge step forward in our journey to becoming a fully integrated healthcare system,” Don Mueller, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children Chief Executive Officer, said in a public statement at the time of the announcement. “This is truly an exciting moment and one worthy of celebration.”

Newport Hospital and Health Services (NHHS)

NHHS, a rural hospital that serves northeast Washington and northern Idaho, announced the implementation of an Epic EHR in March, according to the Bonnie County Daily Bee.

NHHS implemented the Epic Systems Community Connect model, which the organization said is a cost-effective program that allows hospitals to connect to a larger local hospital in order to connect to the Epic EHR network.

“We believe the Epic platform will allow us to improve overall care and service delivery by simplifying access, streamlining data, and improving the patient and provider experience with better tools at their fingertips,” Tom Wilbur, NHHS CEO, said in a press release at the time of the announcement.

CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System

The faith-based health system completed an Epic Systems EHR implementation in March to upgrade interoperability throughout its several healthcare facilities.

“CHRISTUS Good Shepherd is proud to be at the forefront of the electronic integration that is revolutionizing how care is provided across the country,” Todd Hancock, president and chief executive officer of the Texas-based health system, said in a press release at the time of the announcement.

Patients will also gain full access to Epic’s patient portal, MyChart. A patient can utilize the patient portal to schedule appointments, place orders for prescription refills, communicate with providers, and view both health history and lab results.

Central Texas Community Health Centers

Central Texas Community Health Centers and its affiliate CommUnityCare Health Centers, a FQHC, deployed Epic EHR to boost health data exchange between its 27 locations throughout Travis County.

Epic’s EHR software will offer CommUnityCare patient outreach tools to reach priority populations. These tools include patient scheduling, mobile workflows, and real-time reporting to public health authorities.

“As a large safety net provider, we provide care for those most at risk for an adverse health outcome given that almost 60% of the approximate 125,000 patients we serve annually are uninsured with 90% plus of our patients identified as low income,” Jaeson Fournier, MPH, CEO of CommUnityCare, said in a statement at the time of the announcement.

“In order to achieve greater health equity for those we serve, CommUnityCare needed a health records system inclusive of robust point of care decision support, population health analytics, and enhanced patient engagement functionality,” Fournier continued. “Epic is and was the right solution and provides the state-of-the-art tool that our care teams, clinicians and patients have needed and deserved.”

Illinois Bone & Joint Institute (IBJI)

Last month, IBJI announced an Epic EHR implementation for improved care coordination.

The health IT implementation will connect IBJI practices through a common integrated platform for streamlined patient care across the orthopedic health system. This will ensure providers have access to up-to-date patient health information for proper care coordination.

"The move to Epic allows us to keep patient care at the front and center of what we do," Andre Blom, IBJI Chief Executive Officer, said in a public statement at the time of the announcement. "It will allow better visibility for our providers into a patient's medical history, as well as enhance patients' ability to stay more connected and in control of their own healthcare."

Health Care District of Palm Beach County 

An Epic EHR implementation at the Health Care District of Palm Beach County is set to boost interoperability between primary care clinics and rural hospitals.

The implementation serves 50,000 patients with C. L. Brumback Primary Care Clinics, which spans nine locations in at-risk communities. The new EHR will also serve more than 27,000 patients a year at Lakeside Medical Center, the healthcare district’s rural, acute-care teaching hospital.

“Our new Epic-based integrated platform provides best-in-class technology to meet the needs of our patients, many of whom have complex conditions and find it challenging to navigate the healthcare delivery system,” Belma Andri, MD, MPH, the district’s chief medical officer, said in a press release at the time of the announcement.

“With Epic, our providers now have a more complete picture of their patients’ health across the continuum of care right at their fingertips,” Andri added.

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