On October 3, 2017, the Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services Board of Directors approved a multi-million dollar capital investment to purchase and implement Epic’s electronic health record system throughout the entire organization.
This will benefit the almost 50,000 Pine Rest patients with a complete patient record that spans the continuum of care. Pine Rest is the first independent free standing behavioral health system in the United States to partner directly with Epic.
Epic, which is used by partner hospitals such as Metro Health – University of Michigan Health, Spectrum Health, Sparrow Health and Lakeland Health systems, is headquartered in Verona, Wisconsin and is the most widely-used electronic health record software in the United States. Epic has been rated the best provider for the last seven years by research firm KLAS.
With the new electronic health record, Pine Rest will be able to coordinate care with the entire Epic community, but will also be able to connect with non-Epic systems such as Mercy Health Saint Mary’s through Great Lakes Health Connect. Epic’s interoperability platform, Care Everywhere, exchanges an industry-leading 2 million records per day with both Epic and non-Epic systems.
“Leveraging Epic’s data sharing technology, Pine Rest will have unprecedented opportunities to coordinate care with other providers in the community and across the country,” says Mark Eastburg, Ph.D., president & CEO. “This will have a profound positive impact on the care and health outcomes for those we serve, and was an important reason the team selected Epic.”
Epic’s integrated software makes it easier for Pine Rest’s patients to have their behavioral healthcare integrated with their physical healthcare. It will also improve the patient’s access to care through MyChart, a secure patient portal. Epic is expected to be fully implemented by June 2018, helping to share relevant and timely clinical information across Pine Rest’s diverse clinical programs. This project is driven largely by Pine Rest’s strategic vision of improving access for the community.
“The head and the body belong together,” said Judy Faulkner, Epic founder and CEO. “This collaboration will help Pine Rest take care of the whole patient though both an integrated record and the improved interoperability they will gain with Care Everywhere.”
The electronic health record system purchase is a significant investment for the organization. Financing will be a blend of longer term debt, board designated funds as well as capital improvement dollars.
Over the past two years, Pine Rest leaders from each division, members of executive administration and employees in other key positions met regularly to evaluate the organizational need for a new electronic health record and determine which software provider best suited the organization’s services and strategic goals. Pine Rest worked with a third-party consulting firm to evaluate the best options.
By selecting an electronic health record that fits the needs and goals of the entire organization, the team intends to improve patient:
- Experience, and
- Coordination of care.
This will be done by standardizing registration procedures, information requests, and other electronic health record functions while also improving Pine Rest’s internal efficiency.
The decision was based on specific aspects of the software and the roll-out plans. Pine Rest wants to ensure that the transition to a new electronic health record goes smoothly for staff, but more importantly has only positive effects for its patients and strategic partners.