Trinity Health will put all its facilities on a single Epic Systems Corp. electronic health record and revenue-cycle management platform from a mix of Epic and Cerner programs, the system announced Wednesday.
The health system plans to migrate its 94 hospitals and 109 continuing-care facilities to a single version of Epic over four years, according to Mike Slubowski, president and chief operating officer at Trinity. Slubowski declined to provide information about the estimated cost of the switch.
EHR implementations can be notoriously expensive. Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which recently completed a switch to Epic and is much smaller than Trinity, budgeted $214 million for the move.
Trinity posted $17.6 billion in annual revenue in fiscal 2017 and employs approximately 131,000 people across 22 states.
Economic scalability isn't Trinity's only motivation for moving to Epic. Three of Trinity's large ministries—Trinity Health of New England, Loyola Medicine and St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center—already run Epic systems, Slubowski said.
It also made sense because Slubowski and others at Trinity think Epic has the best integration of outpatient and inpatient components. Trinity executives also believed Epic would help it move toward being a nationally integrated health system, he said.
Trinity will work with Epic on designing the platform. "We're including a lot of clinicians in the build process," Slubowski said. The health system will also turn to patients, soliciting feedback to make sure the software is user-friendly from all angles.
EHR switches have proven difficult for some health systems. UMass Memorial Health Care switched to an Epic platform in 2017 and took a hit to its bottom line from the migration, as operating income sunk to $40.7 million in fiscal 2016.
But Slubowski is confident the move to Epic will go smoothly for his system. "We've had a lot of experience in rolling out EHRs and revenue-cycle management systems up until now," he said. "It's not like we're new at doing this kind of work."
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