U.S. Coast Guard initiates “epic” divorce and seeks new EHR provider

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Boarding the EHR train, healthcare organizations are virtually committed to marriage. The future system should become the core of support for the delivery of care, so that it involves a multimillion-dollar budget, a massive investment of time, and adoption activities throughout the organization. It’s not that easy to launch the game, is it?

Well, still, the U.S. Coast Guard still divorced Epic and wants to start all over again, with new medical software Partner.

How the marriage began

In 2010, the Coast Guard said its environment was inefficient, experiencing poor user satisfaction, and lacked wireless user interfaces. A $ 14 million 5-year contract with Epic had to solve all the problems.

Specifically, the vendor had to implement a system with a wide range of cutting-edge electronic healthcare capabilities, including radiology, dental, laboratory, and pharmacy support. Epic also had to integrate a patient portal to communicate with patients in six time zones at 43 outpatient clinics and remote nurses on the ground. The contract included staff training, system testing, backup services, and support service support.

So what went wrong?

First, we approach the point of view of the Coast Guard. According to Lieutenant Commander Dave French, head of media relations for the agency, the interruption of the project was motivated by the seller’s inability to provide his client with a “viable product in a reasonable period of time and at a reasonable cost.” . No specific issues were highlighted, but keep in mind that the Coast Guard resorted to the use of paper records for patient care and will begin a new search for EHR providers.

The Coast Guard also said so Becker Hospital Review that the scope of the project has been expanded from the implementation of EHR to a “health, safety and similar service-wide computer reengineering project”. Therefore, the reason for the rupture can also be based on the changed requirements.

Epic had a few words to answer. They claim that the system was ready to face the world and the company did its best to achieve a successful installation: “We complied with the terms of the agreement and provided the software and implementation services for comply with the Epic obligations of the project “. The vendor also noted that there were some of the setbacks in project deadlines, including the change of data center, hiring problems, delays in buying hardware and a federal investigation.

Given both statements, the two partners may be to blame for the termination of their marriage. If rarely two people look in the same direction and find consensus on all issues, two organizations have a lot more trouble agreeing. And sometimes they can’t agree.

In search of the new spouse

The Coast Guard is now more cautious when it comes to picking up its soul mate, a simple tinder match won’t serve this time. The agency is conducting extensive research on the functions of state-of-the-art EHR in population health, disease surveillance, PHI security, and information interoperability, among others.

Rumor has it that Cerner could have what it takes to become the new partner in the U.S. Coast Guard, as the new EHR must be interoperable with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Defense system. and them Cerner chose.

What is interesting is, Healthcare computer news they surveyed their readers about their thoughts on the most appropriate EHR partner for the Coast Guard. While Cerner dominated the poll with 29.2 percent, 82 percent of respondents who chose “another,” voted for Epic, saying the association “is worth a try.” So maybe it’s not over yet?

Our outings on history

While the rupture may be rooted in a mutual misunderstanding between partners, it may also be hidden in the capabilities of the EHR system. Over time, the requirements of the Coast Guard have been developed, and perhaps the system has not been able to manage them? Customization is not unlimited.

Practically, we again observe the “EHR +” trend, where the EHR system alone is not enough to build the core of the technological support of care delivery. We talked about this situation before, talking about how the sellers themselves give up using the “three-letter gross word when they describe their products. It may be another sign of the emerging post-EHR era.

Obviously, the Coast Guard is looking strong health data analysis capabilities with machine learning and artificial intelligence to enable disease surveillance and population health management. Based on the results of their research, they might even think about returning to Epic’s EHR and entrusting it with its clinical and operational processes on land and in the fleet. In this case, the Coast Guard can collaborate with other vendors to add the “post-EHR” capabilities they seek and integrate additional systems with EHR.



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