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Published on April 09, 2019

UHS chooses Epic for comprehensive health record system

UHS has chosen Epic, the most widely-used and comprehensive health records system, as its new integrated technology platform for clinicians, patients, and staff. Over the next two years, Epic will replace UHS’ current electronic health records systems.                                                                                    

Epic is used by a majority of U.S. News and World Report’s top-ranked hospitals and medical schools who are working collaboratively every day to improve patient care, innovate healthcare delivery, and achieve financial health. Leading organizations across the country and around the world use Epic, including the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and Johns Hopkins Medicine. Over 70% of New Yorkers already have a record at a healthcare institution using Epic. 

“If we want to continue to improve as an institution and provide the highest quality of care to our patients, we need the best clinical and financial system out there,” said John M. Carrigg, president and chief executive officer of UHS.  “That’s what Epic is.” 

With the new system, one chart will follow a patient throughout his or her entire healthcare experience, from the doctor’s office to the hospital and from the hospital to the lab and pharmacy. All organizations using Epic interoperate, which means that they can easily exchange patient data for improved patient care. Providers will have the ability to coordinate care with clinicians outside of UHS who serve their patients and their families, closing care gaps and reducing duplication. 

“For the patient to have one single chart and have that information shared immediately – this will increase the quality of care and the patient experience,” said Bridget Talbut, RN, director of clinical services for UHS practice management. 

Patients and their caregivers can become engaged members of the care team through MyChart, the new patient portal. Using the MyChart online portal or smartphone app, patients will have the ability to request prescription refills, view test results and notes, schedule appointments, communicate with their care team, pay bills, and more. 

Thomas Genese, MD, director of the UHS Internal Medicine Residency Program, believes that the implementation of Epic also will make it easier for UHS to recruit new physicians and medical residents. 

“Academic medical centers using Epic educate over 90% of residents and medical students, so most candidates are already familiar and comfortable with Epic and prefer to work with it,” said Genese. 

David Kwiatkowski, MD, director of the UHS Medical Group, said the new system will free up clinicians to do more of what they do best. 

“We’ll be able to spend a lot more time concentrating on the patient as opposed to entering data,” said Kwiatkowski. 

M&T Bank in conjunction with The Agency, has provided $5 million in financing to help make the upgrade possible. M&T and UHS have enjoyed a longstanding relationship that dates back more than 20 years. 

“By investing in a new electronic health records and billing system, UHS will further enhance the experience patients have when they visit their facilities. The complete data and care management tools that the system provides have the potential to improve patient outcomes and elevate public health in Binghamton and the Southern Tier,” said Susan Burtis, group manager for commercial banking at M&T Bank. “Understanding the impact the new system will have, M&T Bank was pleased to provide the financing to help make the upgrade possible.” The replacement and modernization project  has begun, and is expected to take at least a little over a year to fully implement. 

“The scale of the project to install Epic will be immense,” said Susan Carman, chief information officer at UHS. “But will be an exciting opportunity to improve UHS’ clinical care, financial strength, and patient satisfaction.” 

UHS is a locally owned, not-for-profit hospital and healthcare system serving Greater Binghamton and surrounding counties. Founded in 1981, UHS provides a full range of medical, surgical, rehabilitative and long-term care services throughout New York’s Southern Tier. 

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