- Partners Healthcare this weekend launched the consolidation of its many EHR systems in a $1.2-billion investment with Epic. The project is the single biggest investment Partners has ever made, according to The Boston Globe.
- This weekend's launch, referred to by hospital officials as "the big bang," will tie together the hodge-podge of systems at Brigham and Women's, Partners' Faulkner Hospital campus, clinical partner Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Partners' home care division.
- The provider is also building a Web portal for patients to connect with their physicians, check their medical records and schedule appointments.
The original price tag on this system—which has spent three years in development—was $600 million. Hefty, but nowhere near $1.2 billion. Partners had to hire 600 new employees and hundreds of consultants to work with Epic to build this thing, not to mention train its thousands of physicians, nurses, PAs, etc. to use it. 1,500 additional staff had to be on hand this weekend during the roll-out.
Still, Partners probably didn't have a choice. Given the clip with which it has been acquiring other providers, the operator probably couldn't afford not to have a common system that worked across its entire network, and Epic is still the best game in town for providers of that size.
Now the question remains: Will it be worth it—and will it play nice with other vendors?
Partners wasn't the only big Epic announcement in the last few days. Tennessee-based Erlanger Health System announced Thursday that it will sink $91 million into a new Epic system to tie together its fragmented 200-odd EHRs.