Cape Fear Valley Health moves to Epic and calls it a CHR, not EHR

By replacing two Cerner systems, the North Carolina health system aims for a broader view, helping its physicians, nurses and IT staff work more collaboratively to serve patients with what it described as a comprehensive health record.
By Mike Miliard
02:12 PM
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Cape Fear Valley Health in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Credit: Google Maps

Cape Fear Valley Health, a 916-bed regional health system based in Fayetteville, North Carolina, has chosen Epic for a new initiative to unite all of its hospitals and clinics onto a single platform.

Its hospitals include Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Highsmith-Rainey Specialty Hospital, Hoke Hospital, Cape Fear Valley Rehabilitation Center, Behavioral Health Care and Bladen County Hospital.

In what could be taken as a taste of what’s to come in the electronic health record space, rather than referring to Epic’s software as an electronic health record, Cape Fear Valley used Epic's own recent coinage – comprehensive health record – to describe the new IT system it will roll out over the next year, with an expected completion by summer of 2019. 

[Also: UCSF researchers take issue with Epic's 'CHR' definition, offer alternate meaning]

While Epic CEO Judy Faulkner was the first to publicly say that the term EHR should be replaced with CHR, rival tech vendor executives Cerner President Zane Burke, eClinicalWorks Chief Executive Officer Girish Navani and athenahealth Chief Product Officer Kyle Armbrester all said they are already moving in the same direction. 

That essentially means broadening the types of information that the health record system includes and accesses, with a focus on social determinants of health, patient-generated health data, as well as greater connectivity and interoperability. 

Faulkner said the difference between EHRs and CHRs comes down to three big issues

"The first is that there’s information that’s not in the EHRs now," Faulkner said. "The second one is care that is not in the hospital but has to be part of the picture. We bring them in the Comprehensive Health Record which should be the comprehensive health record – social and community care. And the last is traditional healthcare within the walls that has now moved out of the walls."

At Cape Fear Valley, the move to a CHR is meant to be all-inclusive, expanding beyond clinical settings to span the continuum of care, from the reception desk to the patient's home, with Epic’s MyChart patient portal, according to the health system. 

As the new platform rolls out, officials said it will replace two Cerner record systems in use at Cape Fear Valley. The goal is a streamlined scheduling and billing process, with new clinical applications and population health software.

Cape Fear Valley said it's deploying the new Epic CHR for its million-plus patients – many of whom are veterans – across a seven-county region North Carolina that it serves.

"Epic will allow Cape Fear Valley Health caregivers to share critical patient data across our facilities, our region and throughout the United States, with both civilian and military health are providers," said Samuel Fleishman, MD, the health system's chief medical officer. Cape Fear Valley CEO Michael Nagowski added that Epic’s CHR will enable patients to access their data. 

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com