Arizona officials investigate Cerner EHR complaints at Banner Health: 5 things to know

Jessica Kim Cohen - Print  | 

Phoenix-based Banner Health's hospitals and clinics in Tucson, Ariz., have continued to experience problems stemming from its Oct. 1 Cerner EHR go-live, leading state officials to investigate several patient complaints, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

Here are five things to know about the EHR implementation.

1. Banner Health has been preparing to transition its Tucson facilities to the Cerner EHR — which is used by the rest of the health system — since it entered the Tucson market in 2015. The transition from the Epic system Tucson facilities had previously used cost Banner Health $45 million.

2. Since the Cerner EHR go-live Oct. 1, patients have reported experiencing delays to get appointments and prescriptions, along with scheduling issues. Some patients on Jan. 8 said their existing appointments at the health system's University of Arizona Cancer Center were rescheduled.

3. State investigators at the Arizona Department of Health Services have received complaints about the EHR rollout, state officials confirmed to the Arizona Daily Star.

In a Feb. 9 statement, Banner Health officials said state investigators looked at four allegations, two of which were substantiated but had been corrected by Banner Health, and two of which could not be substantiated. Online records viewed by the Arizona Daily Star indicated the health system has not been fined or cited over the complaints.

4. In a set of remarks at Gov. Doug Ducey's State of the State presentation in Tucson, Banner Health CEO Peter S. Fine acknowledged the health system did "underestimate" the EHR transition process. However, Banner Health officials have also emphasized separate reasons for process delays at Tucson facilities, including a severe flu season that increased the number of patients visiting the health system.

5. Banner Health released a statement in early February saying it is "highly focused" on the EHR transition and making "constant and steady improvement." In a statement to the Arizona Daily Star, a spokesperson also noted there has not been an increase in reportable safety events since the go-live.

Editor's note: Becker's Hospital Review reached out to Banner Health for comment and will update as more information is available.

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