Michigan behavioral health system goes live on Epic to coordinate with nearby hospitals

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services on June 20 became the first free-standing behavioral health system to go live on an Epic EHR.

The health system's board of directors approved a multimillion dollar capital investment to purchase and implement the Epic EHR in October 2017. Pine Rest will finance the EHR through a combination of longer term debt, board designated funds and capital improvement dollars.

Pine Rest officials implemented the EHR to support care coordination with nearby partner hospitals in Michigan like Grand Rapids-based Metro Health, Lansing-based Sparrow Health System and St. Joseph-based Lakeland Health, which also use Epic EHRs.

Epic's "Care Everywhere" interoperability service, which enables providers to exchange medical records between Epic and non-Epic EHR systems, also played a key role in Pine Rest's decision to select the EHR vendor, according to health system officials.

"Behavioral health is an essential component of any integrated and collaborative community of care," Mark Eastburg, PhD, president and CEO of Pine Rest, said in the health system's June 25 statement. "Pine Rest has a vision to partner with local and national health care systems to provide a network of support and care coordination that exceeds anything previously experienced."

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