University of Vermont Health Network greenlights $151 million Epic EHR project

The six-year project will replace legacy electronic health records software and paper at UVM Health Network’s four hospitals.
By Bernie Monegain
04:56 PM
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UVM Medical Center Credit: Twitter

The Green Mountain Care Board in Vermont has approved the enterprise implementation of a $151.7 million Epic EHR system across four hospitals that make up the University of Vermont Health Network.

UVM Health Network’s new Epic system, which is expected to take six-years, will replace a variety of legacy technology, and some paper-based documentation.

The announcement comes one day after Epic rival Allscripts said it is acquiring cloud-based EHR maker Practice Fusion for $100 million – a move that followed its August acquisition of McKesson’s EHR and health IT unit.

[Also: Allscripts buys Practice Fusion for $100 million]

UVM Health Network officials said the new EHR system would cost less than replacing and maintaining the outdated systems in place today.

While acknowledging $151.7 million is substantial, board members noted it was less than the $200 million it would cost to maintain the old disparate systems. UVM officials plan to pay for the project in part through employment reductions and efficiencies.

The installation will include the University of Vermont Medical Center, Central Vermont Medical Center, Porter Medical Center and Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital.

Three other affiliates – Alice Hyde Medical Center, Elizabethtown Community Hospital and the Visiting Nurse Association of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties – will connect at a later date, officials stated.

The board also said it expects UVM’s new system will more easily connect with the existing statewide health information exchange and might prove beneficial for health care reform and research.

In addition to finding the need for a shared EHR is clear, GMCB members concluded the cost of the project was reasonable and would improve the quality of healthcare in Vermont. The board set forth a series of conditions to ensure timely and financially-prudent implementation and is requiring measurement of the impact on quality of care and the administrative burden on providers.

The board also directed the system be designed to support provider and patient decision-making.

The UVM Health Network first announced its plans a year ago when it filed the required certificate of need, or CON application, with the state of Vermont.

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