Nebraska Medicine picks Epic for population health technology

The hospital system said it will deploy Epic’s Healthy Planet to enable clinicians to gather patient information across multiple data sources and perform sophisticated analytics on that information.
By Bernie Monegain
01:47 PM
Nebraska Epic population health

Nebraska Medicine, a two-hospital system that implemented its Epic EHR three years ago, will roll out Epic’s population health platform Healthy Planet. The platform will serve 1,100 physicians using different electronic health record systems.

The goal in implementing the technology, Nebraska Medicine executives said, is to help private practice physicians work more collaboratively across the state to improve care, reduce costs, benefit from group purchasing agreements and participate in new federal incentive programs.

Nebraska Medicine, a Stage 7 facility on the HIMSS Analytics EMRAM scale, has 661 licensed hospital beds in Omaha and Bellevue, Neb. and nearly 40 specialty and primary care clinics in Omaha and the surrounding area.

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“Healthy Planet will be the engine that makes it possible to better predict patient needs, intervene earlier and work together to improve outcomes,” Brian Lancaster, executive director of Nebraska Medicine’s Information Management Division, said in a statement. “We considered platforms from multiple vendors, but in the end Epic’s platform is powering the largest and most successful population health programs in the country, and that’s what we want for Nebraska.”

The platform will support Nebraska Medicine’s clinically integrated network called Nebraska Health Partners.

"Improving care is no longer about what one physician can do, it’s about what we can do as a community of caregivers with better technology,” Michael Ash, MD, said in a statement. Ash is chief transformation officer at Nebraska Medicine and assistant professor for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska Medicine’s academic partner.

Healthy Planet is expected to enable Nebraska Health Partners to gather patient information across multiple data sources, including EHRs, claims, pharmacies and satisfaction surveys. Also, the data enables them to perform sophisticated analytics work and provide care providers with a more complete view of the patient as well as better decision support.

Nebraska Medicine executives said real-time information sharing and analytics will be especially important when participating in new federal incentive programs like the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). 

Helpful advice for planning to purchase a population health platform:

⇒ Experts explain what to look for when choosing a population health platform
⇒ Comparison chart of 8 population health products 
⇒ An in-depth look at 8 population health software programs

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