MinuteClinic taps Epic for EMR

'We’ve reached a point in the evolution of our clinical practice where a more advanced EMR'
By Bernie Monegain
11:01 AM
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MinuteClinic taps Epic for EMR

The largest retail clinic in the country will roll out the most popular commercial EMR system throughout all its clinics.

MinuteClinic, a division of CVS Caremark will switch to the Epic electronic medical record system called EpicCare. MinuteClinic currently uses its own home-built system.

"EpicCare's rich platform will allow us to continue to provide the highest quality of care and advance our services through a robust, world class EMR," Andrew Sussman, MD, president, MinuteClinic and senior vice president/associate chief medical officer, CVS Caremark, said in a press statement.

Epic, the most widely used EMR in the U.S., will support MinuteClinic's evidence based model of care and facilitate connectivity with healthcare providers nationwide who currently use Epic, including many major health systems, hospital networks and physician groups affiliated with MinuteClinic.

An estimated 274,000 physicians will use Epic, and about 51 percent of the U.S. population will have a record in Epic when its current customer rollouts are complete, according to the MinuteClinic news release. MinuteClinic's full deployment of EpicCare is expected to take 18 months.

"We've reached a point in the evolution of our clinical practice where a more advanced EMR that facilitates more immediate information sharing with other healthcare providers is needed," added Sussman. "MinuteClinic is expanding sites and services, having added more than 350 clinics in the past three years. As we continue on our path of rapid growth to reach 1,500 clinics by 2017, EpicCare will take us to the next level by offering enhanced connectivity with other providers, more advanced patient portal capabilities and key analytics to run our practice more efficiently and improve patient care."

[See also: Epic holdout questions install craze.]

MinuteClinic Chief Medical Officer Nancy Gagliano, MD, expects the EMR will help the clinic further promote continuity of care with patients' primary care providers, including pediatricians, family practice physicians and internists.

"We've always been committed to comprehensive record sharing, whether it's done electronically when compatibility exists or by faxing a copy of the visit summary immediately following a clinic visit with patient permission," she said, in the news release. "EpicCare will help us work more closely with physician practices as part of the medical home team, facilitate co-management of patients, and advance our mission to make healthcare more accessible, convenient and affordable for Americans."

Epic has scored highest in KLAS Ambulatory EMR rankings for large health systems (75+ physicians) for 15 years. However, it was edged out by athenahealth this year for "Best in KLAS Overall Software Vendor." The ranking is tallied based on provider feedback.

[See also: athenahealth topples Epic on KLAS list.]

"Retail clinics play an important role in community-wide care delivery," said Carl Dvorak, Epic president, in a statement. "Patients receive the most value in terms of quality, cost, and overall wellness when care is well-coordinated across disciplines and locations so we're glad to have CVS MinuteClinic join the nation's largest network of care organizations securely sharing patient information."