In September of 1997 the Brody School of Medicine and ECU Physicians went live with its first Electronic Medical Record, Logician®. This was followed by a multiyear implementation to all ECU Physicians ambulatory clinical sites by 2003. Transition from paper records to an EMR has been a challenging process with numerous immediate and short term rewards clearly visible, and many long term rewards yet to be realized. Many of these challenges stem from the inherent difficulty in the integration and transfer of information between different clinical areas (e.g. ambulatory and inpatient) and between different information systems with different platforms (e.g. IDX® and Centricity®).
In October of 2005 University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina embarked on a multiyear, multimillion dollar project to implement a new Electronic Health Record from Epic Systems Corporation, with the long term vision of a fully integrated, seamless regional health information network. This decision by UHS East and PCMH has provided a significant opportunity for our clinical enterprise to integrate health information across local and regional clinical sites for the benefit of improved quality of care, more efficient operations and expanded opportunities for education and research. Such a conversion from our current information systems would also have significant short and long term implications for our organization.
A group comprised of UHS and Brody School of Medicine
representatives investigated the potential impact of conversion from our current practice management and electronic medical record systems to comparable Epic products. The strategic benefits and risks, and preliminary cost analysis were reviewed. The decision to proceed was based on the many benefits to the medical school and our patients. HealthSpan will bring increased efficiencies, improved patient safety, decreased time accessing records from the Hospital, and improved communication from one provider to another. The project is set to kickoff in in July and is expected to be implemented in October 2008.
This page originally appeared in the Feb. 23, 2007 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at http://www.ecu.edu/news/poe/Arch.cfm.