Epic is coming to UMass Memorial

Epic is coming to UMass Memorial

Also expect virtual doc visits by 2016 for common ailments

UMass Memorial Healthcare will be rolling out an Epic EHR system to replace its Soarian EHR from Siemens, which is now part of Cerner. There was no formal announcement. “Epic is coming,” UMass Memorial President and CEO Eric Dickson, MD, wrote in a July 20 blog posted on the hospital’s website.

“Today I signed one of the most important contracts I have signed since becoming CEO two-and-a-half years ago,” Dickson wrote. “I signed the contract to install Epic as our enterprise-wide electronic health record and billing system! Why Epic? It basically came down to one thing: Hundreds of our caregivers tested the options available to us, and they resoundingly selected Epic as the best system.”

UMass Memorial is the largest not-for-profit healthcare system in Central Massachusetts with more than 12,900 employees and 1,670 physicians.

CIO Tim Tarnowski and his team worked closely with a task force headed by Bill Corbett, MD, and Matthias Waltz, MD, during the evaluation of potential software solutions, Dickson wrote. The task force ranked Epic highest on important evaluation criteria.

On the same day Dickson announced the Epic move, UMass Memorial also introduced virtual physician visits for diagnosis and treatment of common health concerns.

The hospital has partnered with Zipnosis, a Minneapolis-based company, to provide an online diagnosis and treatment service that will connect patients to UMass Memorial clinicians online to receive care for common medical conditions, such as sinus infections, colds and flu, female bladder infections and pink eye.

Starting this coming October any of UMass Memorial Health Care’s 12,900 employees who have a UMass Memorial provider will be able to use the new service.

The healthcare system plans to extend the service to the public in early 2016 for a flat fee that may be covered by insurance. The service is available 24-hours a day, with provider diagnosis and treatment available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Requests that come after hours will be prioritized for response in the morning.

UMass Memorial is working with Zipnosis, a software company that helps healthcare providers offer virtual care services to diagnose, treat or triage more than 90 minor medical conditions.

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