How did Cape Cod Healthcare make an Epic decision?
Choosing a new electronic health records platform (EHR) for a healthcare system isn’t a minor matter. In the case of Cape Cod Healthcare’s selection of the Epic system as the host of the new EHR, 300 people were involved in a process that took nine months.
“It was an extremely in-depth search, and I’m confident that we came up with the best solution,” said Paul Solverson, senior vice president and chief information officer at Cape Cod Healthcare.
Cape Cod Healthcare’s records-keeping system had become unwieldy, he said.
“We had an odd assortment of 30 some disparate systems that were not very well connected and were causing us a lot of operational and service issues,” he said. “By moving to Epic, we had an opportunity to replace 30 systems with one integrated system.”
Consolidating 30 systems into a single integrated one for maintaining electronic health records will provide greatly improved efficiency for physicians and other healthcare providers, administrators and patients.
“Most of the major healthcare institutions in Massachusetts, especially in Boston, use Epic,” he said. “We've heard a lot of good things about it. It's got a solid reputation across the industry.”
The selection process began with a request for proposals. EHR companies came to the Cape for onsite demonstrations, and members of the selection committee did site visits of several contenders. In all, about 300 people from Cape Cod Healthcare had a chance to review the options and provide feedback. They included physicians, nurses, and employees who deal with scheduling and billing, among others.
“It was very well vetted by the people who will be doing the hands-on work,” said Solverson. “In the end, it was unanimous to go with Epic.”
One of the advantages of Epic, he said, is its proven ability to exchange information between healthcare providers. “Cape Cod patients going to Boston, Florida, or elsewhere can have their record accessed by another Epic provider,” he said.
“Patients will have better care because their providers will have all their information in a single place right at their fingertips,” Solverson said. “We’ve rolled out Epic’s My Chart patient portal, which enables them to engage directly with their provider and with Cape Cod Healthcare on all aspects of their care. They’re now able to schedule appointments with select providers, see results, even do e-visits with their doctors through the portal. There are a lot of capabilities that we do not offer today.”
A few more reasons that Epic was selected, according to Solverson:
- Best-in-class clinical and financial software package in the market.
- 70% of Massachusetts patients have an Epic record.
- 70% of U.S. acute care beds use Epic.
- Physicians are commonly trained on Epic in medical school.
“It gets great marks in functionality and patient safety. It’s user-friendly and our patients are going to be very satisfied,” he said.
View our detailed press release to learn more about the Epic EHR system and see below for a visual summarizing the patient interactions during the first week of launch: