Partners HealthCare Launches Massive $1.2B EHR System

Massachusetts-based Partners HealthCare has launched a $1.2 billion electronic health record system for its network of 10 hospitals and 6,000 physicians, the Boston Globe reports.

Launch Details

The new system, called Partners eCare, was developed by Epic and replaces a patchwork of programs that were used by the network's different clinics, departments and hospitals. The piecemeal approach made it difficult for physicians to view patient data from visits at other facilities within the network, including vital information like medication allergies.

The new EHR system was launched over the weekend at:

  • Brigham and Women's Hospital;
  • Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital;
  • The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; and
  • Partners' home care division.

The system will be rolled out to the rest of the Partners' network over the next few years, with all facilities using the system by 2017. The EHR system is the largest investment Partners has ever made, nearly double the cost of building Massachusetts General Hospital's Lunder Building in 2011, according to the Globe.

Potential Implications

According to the Globe, Partners eCare initially will have little effect on patients' experiences at the hospitals. However, the EHR system eventually will allow patients to access their medical information online. Partners said it is constructing a Web-based portal that will allow patients to:

  • Interact with providers;
  • Schedule appointments; and
  • View their health data.

In addition, the system will allow each hospital within the Partners network to view patient records, making it easier to share patient data among doctors at the health system's various facilities. The EHR system also will alert doctors when patients are due for tests and immunizations, as well as allow physicians to analyze patient data more easily, according to the Globe (Dayal McCluskey, Boston Globe, 6/1).

Source: iHealthBeat, Tuesday, June 2, 2015

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