November 20, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gregg Davidson, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer, 360-428-2293
Kari Ranten, MHA, Director of Planning and Marketing, 360-814-2370
MOUNT VERNON – The Skagit Regional Health Board of Commissioners today approved a major investment to benefit patients in the region by selecting Epic as the vendor for a new Electronic Health Record (EHR). This strategic decision supports efforts by Skagit Regional Health to advance medicine and affirms the organization’s goals for patient safety, quality care, system growth and population health.
This new clinical tool will improve system interoperability, connectivity with patients, access to information and data sharing across Skagit Regional Health’s continuum of care, including Skagit Valley Hospital, Skagit Regional Clinics, Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center and Skagit Valley Kidney Center. With the recently approved definitive agreement, the single platform EHR will also extend to Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics.
“This is a critical, strategic decision for our organization, our region and, most importantly, the patients we serve,” said Gregg Davidson, Chief Executive Officer. “We are taking this important strategic step for all the right reasons.”
The purchase of the EHR represents an investment of approximately $72 million over the next five years. The implementation over the next 18 months will provide a key, best-of-class clinical tool, and a significant economic impact to the community.
Various staff from Epic will be on site throughout the process, spending significant periods of time in our community. Additional staff, including an EHR project manager, will be hired in Information Systems at Skagit Regional Health to support the implementation process.
John Sternlicht, Executive Director of the Economic Development Association of Skagit County, greeted the announcement with enthusiasm.
“Not only does this huge investment in a state-of-the-art electronic health record speak to the advanced level of health care available in Skagit County, but also the professionals coming to work in our area for a long period will have a significant economic impact through meals, lodging and retail sales,” Sternlicht said. “And of course, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some of them fall in love with our community and decide to stay.”
Next steps involve negotiating a contract and finalizing the plan by the end of 2015. Implementation will take approximately 18 months, with go-live anticipated in mid-2017.
The process leading to the vendor selection included an EHR planning committee led by Dr. Rico Romano and Dr. Chris Kweon, and more than 300 staff and providers who took time during demonstrations by the three finalist vendors to evaluate the products.
About Epic: Founded in 1979, Epic makes software for midsize and large medical groups, hospitals, and integrated healthcare organizations — working with customers that include community hospitals, academic facilities, children's organizations, safety net providers, and multi-hospital systems. Its integrated software spans clinical, access, and revenue functions and extends into the home.