Recent EHR go-lives, optimizations and EMRAM winners

EHR and related IT installations continued last month as did the number of hospitals that achieved Stage 7 on the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Maturity Model.  

Epic and Cerner both landed notable contracts in June.  

Crisp Regional Health Services in Cordele, Georgia, for instance, deployed Cerner Millenium at the hospital as well as half-d-dozen practices and two sub-acute facilities, according to the HIMSS Analytics Logic Health IT Market Intelligence Platform.   

HIMSS Analytics also said that Spokane, Washington-based MultiCare Deaconess Hospital is now live with Epic’s EMR and 18 other tools, while North Mississippi Health Services in Tupelo signed a contracted to use Epic for ambulatory EMR and practice management.

Cerner and Epic also faced legal charges relating to overtime pay for employees; Cerner settled its case for $4.5 million as June wound down.

IT initiatives were not limited to EHRs, of course. HIMSS Analytics said that Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospitals deployed the da Vinci robotic surgery device at its Valencia, California, unit, while Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare installed Voalte for secure messaging and Capital Region Medical Center, based in Jefferson City, Missouri, closed a deal with Infor Healthcare for data warehousing and mining, supply chain management and financial technologies.

The federal Government Accountability Office published a report finding that Veterans Affairs plunked down $3 billion from 2015 to 2017 to keep its proprietary VistA EHR—so it’s no surprise that VA Secretary nominee Robert Wilkie said that the Cerner EHR project would be one of his top priorities.

Phoenix Children’s tuned its EHR to be disease-specific, which almost entirely eliminated the need for transcription because it can now capture 99 percent of clinician notes in a structured format.

Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, meanwhile, said it is the first such free-standing behavioral health system to implement Epic. 

Cloud-based EHR and practice management vendor athenahealth, when it comes right down to it, got the most attention as its founder and chief Jonathan Bush stepped down during the first week of June amid allegations of misconduct. So we asked Healthcare IT News readers what they think: Should athenahealth’s board accept the $6.5 billion takeover bid from activist investor Elliott Management?

Nearly 75 percent answered in the negative with some of the anonymous commenters describing Elliott as “horrendous” and “focused on immediate profits rather than long-term growth,” and that a hedge fund company is not “the best choice to drive the innovation that will be necessary to change healthcare.”

Walmart made a brow-raising move when it filed a patent related to EHRs, blockchain and wearables that appears as if it would protect a method for accessing electronic health record data via the distributed ledger technology.

And Apple posted an API developers can use to build apps that access EHR data to help patients more effectively manage their care.

A number of hospitals in North Carolina were also busy in June achieving Stage 7 of the HIMSS Analytics Outpatient-EMRAM. Those include: the Center for Nutrition & Diabetes, Eskra Plastic Surgery, Laurel Park Women's Imaging, Nash Wound Care Center, QuickMed Urgent Care, Wayne Health Family Medicine, Wayne Urological Associates and the Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Center.

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