Epic this past week gained two new big health system customers, as both Intermountain Healthcare and UPMC announced that they’ve decided to implement its electronic health records in the next few years.
WHY IT MATTERS
Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Health will make the transition to Epic as part of its shift to single EHR across the organization’s 33 hospitals and 385 clinics in seven states by the end of 2025.
“This decision was made with input from thousands of physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses and EHR users from across the organization, and is in support of Intermountain’s efforts to prioritize the caregiver and patient experience and to simplify work,” said an Intermountain spokesperson in a statement emailed to Healthcare IT News.
Epic is currently in use at some Intermountain sites in Colorado and Montana. But the health system, a longtime Cerner client, said the time is right to move more broadly to a single platform across the enterprises to streamline care delivery and enable cost savings.
The Cerner contract for the EHR deployed at Intermountain’s Utah facilities ends in November. Moreover, there’s an “urgent need” to find new technology for provider sites in Idaho and Nevada, where legacy systems need replacement, according to the statement.
Epic was chosen because of “strong functional offerings and significantly higher physician and APP EHR satisfaction scores,” according to Intermountain. “For example, Epic EHR satisfaction scores at Intermountain are .49 points above the national average on a 5-point scale.”
The goal for the sprawling health system going forward is an EHR that “enables clinicians and caregivers to coordinate care across facilities and provide the best possible care to patients.”
At Pittsburgh-based UPMC meanwhile – which already uses Epic for its ambulatory providers – the plan is to also switch over its inpatient EHR within the next three years. This past week the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the health system is eyeing a mid-2026 completion date for the move of some six million digital patient records from Oracle Cerner to Epic.
To meet that timeline, the 40-hospital system will reportedly be enlisting more than 600 IT professionals and 1,200 clinicians toward the move to a unified EHR, as well as new features for its Epic-based myUPMC patient portal.
Pittsburgh-based UPMC will be transferring six million patient records from nine EHRs to Epic Systems, a task that will involve 600 information technology technicians and as many as 1,200 physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other clinicians, the Post-Gazette reported Sept. 5.
The health system has been using Oracle Cerner for inpatient records and Epic for outpatient records. This move, expected to be completed by mid-2026, will put all patient records on one unified platform, giving providers quicker access to a patient’s entire medical record.
“It’s not just a technology transfer, it’s truly transformational for the system,” UPMC Chief Technology Officer Chris Carmody told the paper, noting that the switch would enable a significant reduction in the tens of millions of ADT messages generated each day across the system.
“This is all about the patient experience and the patient-doctor relationship and removing any barriers from that relationship,” said UPMC Chief Information Officer Ed McCallister,” in a quote emailed to HITN.
“This is a technology-enabled clinical and operational transformation,” added Dr. Rob Bart, the health system’s chief medical information officer.
THE LARGER TREND
Intermountain first signed on with Cerner back in 2013, and was touted as one if the company’s premier clients. It inked a multiyear extension and expansion with Cerner in 2020. Since then it has continued its track record of technology innovations, from artificial intelligence to cybersecurity, including earning status as the world’s first triple Stage 7 organization, and recognition, this past month, with a 2023 HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence.
UPMC is a longtime IT leader too, of course, as shown by recent HITN case studies on some of its virtual care and medication nonadherence initiatives, and our interview with its chief healthcare data and analytics officer.
ON THE RECORD
“Our finance team completed a detailed review of our annual EHR operating costs, and moving to a single platform will help us achieve significant cost savings over time,” said Intermountain leaders in an email sent to its clinicians. “We have a lot of planning work ahead of us to go-live with Epic across the system by the fourth quarter of 2025.”
“It’s one of the most transformative activities [we’ve] had here at UPMC,” UPMC Chief Information Officer Ed McCallister told the Post-Gazette. “It’s going to impact everybody. It’s the entirety of the organization that’s going to move this forward.”
Mike Miliard is executive editor of Healthcare IT News
Email the writer: email@example.com
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS publication.