UI Health to replace legacy system with $62 million Epic EHR

Medical system scheduled to go live in the fall of 2019 and the costs will be spread over seven years.
By Bernie Monegain
11:41 AM
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Epic EHR

UI Health in Chicago will spend $62 million over seven years to roll out the Epic EHR. Photo via UI Health

UI Health, an academic medical center, which is associated with the University of Illinois in Chicago, will plunk down $101 million for an Epic System EHR.

The cost includes the preparatory work UI will have to undertake prior to installing the EHR.

The cost associated with the Epic rollout is $62 million over seven years. It includes software, remote hosting, implementation, licensing and other fees.

[Also: Epic notches a first with Canadian EHR install]

Once the contract with Epic is finalized, the new system will take about 21 months to roll out. ‘Go Live’ is expected to occur in the fall of 2019, Michael Zenn, chief financial officer of UI Health, told Healthcare IT News.

A 17-member assessment committee helped develop a process and set technology criteria. The team also oversaw development of the RFP – request for proposal – and an evaluation of the responses.

[Also: Epic rollout at New York hospital backed by $5.7 million state grant]

There were also technology demonstrations from several vendors.

“For Epic, we had 460 participants in our demo. And, we received back 745 evaluations,” Zenn said. “We had a large number of people looking into the process.”

Once the Epic technology goes live, hospital administrators say, it will replace the disparate technologies in place today. They include pieces of Epic, Cerner, Allscripts, McKesson and Midas, which measures quality of care. Much of the technology dated back to the 1990s.

“Many of our current systems were being sunset,” Zenn said. “We were being told by vendors they would no longer support them.”

“We’ve had a large number of disparate systems – in all our departments that we acquired over time that don’t work all that well together,” he added. “We were looking for the ability of vendors who could in an integrated way through a more singular system accomplish our information needs.”

As Zenn sees it, the upgrade is a necessity of the business.

“It’s also a necessity for clinical delivery; communication with our patients, it’s a necessity for all the complex billing issues that we have to deal with.” he said. “It’s our ability to provide care, it’s our ability to interact with our patients about their care, their experience here. It’s about all of those.”

UI Health includes a 495-bed tertiary care hospital, 22 outpatient clinics, and 13 Mile Square Health Center facilities, which are Federally Qualified Health Centers. It also includes the seven UIC health science colleges: the College of Applied Health Sciences; the College of Dentistry; the School of Public Health; the Jane Addams College of Social Work; and the Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Nursing, including regional campuses in Peoria, Quad Cities.

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com