Scripps Health announced its intent to buy an electronic health-record system and a revenue cycle management system from Epic Systems Corp. for its 26 clinics and four hospitals on five campuses across the San Diego area.
The cost of the health information technology project is undisclosed.
Scripps said in a statement that the health system was in “its final phase of the selection process.” Design work on the IT systems will begin this year with implementation planned to start in 2017, “subject to final approval of Scripps' agreement with Epic by the Scripps Health board of trustees,” according to the statement.
The early announcement of an intention to purchase, but not a closed deal, comes as Verona, Wis.-based Epic and two other major EHR vendors are jockeying for favorable publicity as they enter the homestretch of a bidding derby for an estimated $11 billion contract to install a proprietary EHR at the Defense Department's Military Health System.
With 59-hospitals and 360-clinics, the military health system installation will be one of the largest health IT projects in U.S. healthcare history, and the contract is worth billions of dollars.
Two other major EHR developers are also members of consortia bidding on the contract. Allscripts Healthcare Solutions is partnered with Hewlett-Packard and Computer Sciences Corp.; and Cerner Corp. is pared with Leidos and Accenture as remaining bidders.
A team of developers of proprietary systems based on the VistA EHR developed by the Veterans Affairs Department, Medsphere Systems and DSS, plus PriceWaterhouseCoopers and General Dynamics Information Technology, was eliminated from the competition last month.
Cerner announced last fall that it was getting help on the military contract from one of its well-known healthcare delivery system customers, Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare.
In January, Epic trumpeted its own advisory panel of experts willing to lend a hand on the military bid, drawn from some of its big-name customers, including Kaiser Permanente and Geisinger Health System.
Google also surfaced in January to add some Silicon Valley luster to the VistA/PWC bid.
Epic has been criticized by some in the industry and was even assailed by a member of Congress last year over the alleged lack of interoperability of its systems. In the statement announcing its deal with Epic, Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder to seemed to take dead aim at the allegation.
“Epic's interoperable EHR will enable Scripps to create an integrated platform across Scripps' inpatient and ambulatory settings and share data securely with external groups that use other EHRs,” Van Gorder said. “Our caregivers will be able to exchange data across our system, our region and beyond, with both civilian and military healthcare providers."
Epic's software would replace the Centricity EHR from GE Healthcare used in Scripps' hospitals and a separate EHR from Allscripts used at its ambulatory-care sites, according to an Scripps spokeswoman.