MultiCare switches to Epic to sync EHR with other area hospitals

MultiCare Spokane (Wash.) invested more than $25 million in a new Epic EHR, which will  go live on June 1, according to The Spokesman-Review.

With the EHR transition, the  health system aims to be interoperable with nearby Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health and Services and Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente — both of which use Epic. Sharing records with neighboring hospitals will improve patient care and satisfaction, as well as make life easier for all involved healthcare providers. Before announcing the switch, MultiCare clinics used one system while the hospitals used another.

James Reggin, MD, Providence's director of medical informatics, told The Spokesman-Review that the switch would create "a better, more seamless experience for patients receiving care between participating health systems in our region."

Using Epic, Multicare patients will be able to schedule appointments and refill controlled substances prescriptions online — as opposed to receiving a handwritten OK from their provider. Some MultiCare clinics already completed the transition over a two-week period that began in early March.

MultiCare Spokane's new system will launch at Spokane-based Deaconess Hospital and Spokane Valley-based Valley Hospital around midnight June 1 so that project workers will have some time to work out any issues before the hospital gets busy.

"We call it the big bang," Alex Thorenson, a consultant working with MultiCare, told The Spokesman-Review.

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