Partners-Wide Clinical System Gets Name, Gets Going
BWPO President Allen Smith, MD, at Commitment Day.
"Partners eCare, our new next-generation electronic health record, offers opportunities to improve the safety, quality, and efficiency of care across every part of our system. Partners eCare is vital to meeting the demands of a challenging market place and making ourselves as good as we can be in advancing our mission; it will also be a key component in helping us weave together our broader system-wide strategy focusing on care redesign and patient affordability."
With these words, Partners President and CEO Gary Gottlieb, MD, kicked off the July 11 Commitment Day forum for the new enterprise-wide clinical system, attended by more than 130 leaders from across Partners. The formal agenda included remarks from clinical and administrative leaders at Partners and an informal question and answer panel.
Following months of thorough review and vetting, Partners signed a contract with Epic in early July, chose a program name for the enterprise-wide clinical and revenue system - Partners eCare - and is ready to begin design and configuration work. Epic is a worldwide leader in health information technology that specializes in working with academic medical centers and health systems.
The speaking program highlighted a number of advantages of the new electronic health record (EHR). MGH President Peter Slavin, MD, said: "The goal will be to realize a fundamental principle: that each patient will have a single record - one patient, one record -- accessible everywhere throughout Partners."
BWH President Betsy Nabel, MD, stressed a firm commitment to helping clinical and basic researchers get access to needed data and pointed out that, "by adopting Epic, we are joining a new research community - including Stanford, Duke, Hopkins, Dartmouth, NYU, and others -- that shares a powerful new common EHR, so we should be able to collaborate electronically with colleagues to conduct multi-institutional research work."
Attendees also heard from a patient whose care was complex and involved many institutions and physician practices. She said: "I asked that the patient experience be considered in this decision, and it was. As a patient, I am counting on an enterprise-wide electronic health record to provide access to the best and the brightest clinical expertise."
"The benefits of Partners eCare for our doctors, nurses, and care teams are that they will have everything at their fingertips that they need to provide the very best care to our patients," said David Blumenthal, MD, Partners chief health information and innovation officer. "As our system looks for ways to improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of our care, having better information will be foundational."
More Messages from Partners eCare Commitment Day
- Partners will maintain its longstanding commitment to innovation in IT; it's part of the Partners culture. In building the new system, we will encourage developmental innovation and creativity, but not customization.
- This is a clinical, not an IS, project. Every person who works at Partners will be touched or affected by Partners eCare.
- In addition to patient care and research, Partners eCare also will support Partners teaching mission and will encourage greatly increased patient engagement.
- The Compass patient administrative and revenue cycle project will continue, but using Epic rather than Siemens Soraian software.
- The project will employ a strong, representative, open, and accessible governance process, including a number of clinical and research advisory groups, plus other forums for learning and discussion.
- Partners eCare is expected to take five years to full implementation in 2017.
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