Cerner, Epic shops begin electronic exchange of patient records

Competitors Novant Health, Carolinas HealthCare say it boosts patient safety.
By Bernie Monegain
04:16 PM
Cerner and Epic exchange patient records

Two North Carolina-based rival healthcare systems, Novant Health and Carolinas HealthCare, will start exchanging patient records electronically, they announced June 28.

Novant is an Epic IT shop, while Carolinas HealthCare uses Cerner technology.

The goal for records exchange: To improve the quality and coordination of care for patients who use both systems by allowing doctors and clinicians to access portions of electronic medical records, the organizations said.

Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare and Winston-Salem-based Novant have about 9 million patient records between them. They have agreed to exchange demographics, test results, diagnoses and visit summaries.

“What used to take days or weeks to receive patient information from another health system will now be near instantaneous,” Craig Richardville, chief information and analytics officer for Carolinas HealthCare, said in a statement.

Carolinas HealthCare System and Novant Health have chosen to build connectivity through their respective Health Information Exchange systems.

The health systems called the move a “significant step” toward reducing re-admissions and duplicated tests and procedures. The measure, they noted, also lowers costs.

“Our partnership is transforming care for our patients and our providers by securely exchanging patients’ medical information among providers in and outside of our healthcare system, AJ Patefield, MD, Novant Health chief medical information officer, said in a statement. "Our goal is to ensure our providers have the most up-to-date information and give them the opportunity to spend more meaningful time with their patient versus tracking down test results or clinical data."

Novant Health and Carolinas HealthCare System are also working in partnership to address healthcare disparities.

Carolinas HealthCare, is North Carolinas largest hospital system, with more than 40 hospitals. The Novant network includes 14 hospitals.

When Healthcare IT News interviewed Richardville at his office back in April, he noted that a lot of markets have two major players like Novant and Carolinas HealthCare. He characterized the relationship as “classic co-opetition.”

“So, we do things together for the benefit of our patients,” he said. “There is no competition in how we want to take care of and benefit the community that we all live in and serve in.”

“It is your data as a patient,” he added. “When you go to Point B, we want that provider to have all the information that’s relevant to take care of you.”

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