Flu season, workflow issues are snags to Banner Health's switch from two Epic EHRs to Cerner

The health system said that the practice complexity and large-scale change required to transition to the new electronic health record are also causing delays.
By Bernie Monegain
10:32 AM
flu season EHRs

Banner Health’s efforts to swap Epic EHRs at two hospitals to Cerner programs continues to create headaches to the tune of $45 million for the healthcare system.

The Phoenix-based 28-hospital health system is working to move two Tucson academic medical centers it acquired in 2015 from the University of Arizona to Cerner’s electronic health record platform. While Banner Health is a Cerner shop, the two academic centers had operated on an Epic software.

Banner Health spokeswoman Jennifer Ruble said the recent EMR transition for the Tucson hospitals and clinics had been challenging.  

“Workflow issues and academic practice complexity are two primary concerns that we continue to manage,” she said. “These issues were amplified by a severe flu season earlier in the year and the large scale of this change process.”

As a result, Ruble noted patients had experienced related delays, “and we regret that very much,” she said. “The Arizona Department of Health Services surveyed us related to these concerns in December. That survey closed on Jan. 22. We remain highly focused on solutions, and are making constant and steady improvement.”

The Tucson centers went live on Cerner on Oct. 1, 2017 and officials had expected to complete the move by 2018.

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