1 year later: 8 updates on Partners HealthCare's Epic go-live

It has been nearly one year since Boston-based Partners HealthCare started its go-live of Epic's EHR. Here are eight updates on the progress of the launch.

1. The health system invested $1.2 billion in its EHR overhaul project, which it reported to be its biggest single investment to date. 

2. On the last weekend of May 2015, the health system launched Epic in the first wave of hospitals, which included Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the health system's home care division.

3. The second wave of go-lives occurred the first weekend of April 2016, and included Massachusetts GeneralHospital, Newton (Mass.)-WellesleyHospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear. 

4. The go-live is scheduled to take place over two years across the health system.

5. Reactions to the go-live process have been mixed, with some hospital employees expressing frustration with learning the new system and others speaking favorably of the efficiencies and capabilities electronic records provide.

One nurse at Brigham and Women's Hospital told the Boston Globe the EHR detracts from her time spent actually working with patients. "I know people throughout the hospital, and they find the same thing: It's tedious, labor intensive and you feel like you can't do what you want to do," she said in the report.

However, Marie Pasinski, MD, a neurologist at Massachusetts General, told the Boston Globe the new system allows her to review referrals, write prescriptions and enter notes more quickly. "It's made me much more efficient," she told the Globe. "I find I'm actually leaving the office a little earlier," adding that it might be easier to navigate the EHR as a specialist since she is only working with one organ system.

6. Partners appears to have taken observations and lessons learned from the first round of go-lives to improve the process in the second round. The health system added and updated training programs for the second round of go-lives, which appears to have gone more smoothly than the first, reports the Boston Globe.

"We would have liked it to be easier for our clinicians to do what they're trying to do, which is take care of patients…. Instead, at the beginning, especially…it slowed things down," Ron Walls, MD, COO of Brigham, told the Boston Globe. "We've made tremendous progress."

7. Epic officials told the Globe that different individuals get used to the new system at different rates. Tina Perkins, vice president of implementation at Epic, told the Boston Globe the vendor has a team of more than 300 people focused on usability. "Their goal is to make the software a joy to use," she said in the report.

8. In the quarter that ended Dec. 31, Partners reported lower operating income and net income, which the system partially attributed to the cost of implementing the EHR, but they are costs the health system anticipated. Peter Markell, CFO of Partners, told the Boston Globe in a previous article the system expects a $200 million loss to its net surplus over three years. "[It's] training costs, the costs of elbow-to-elbow support to get people to really learn and use the system," he said. "You need people to do all that work."

More articles on Epic:

8 tips to recruit, retain Epic-skilled professionals 
Scripps' finances steady despite costly Epic EHR, RCM system rollout 
MGH resident shares Epic go-live experience from the front lines 

 

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2019. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.

 

Top 40 Articles from the Past 6 Months