25 key updates on Allscripts, Cerner, Epic, Meditech

Over the past few months, four of the largest EHR companies have inked new partnerships with tech giants, launched new products and continued go-lives at hospitals and health systems across the U.S.

Here are 25 updates on Allscripts, Cerner, Epic and Meditech’s operations since August.

Allscripts

1. Allscripts partnered with health IT firm MicroHealth in August to transition the U.S. Department of State’s global medical health units to a cloud-based EHR system.

2. On Aug. 10, Allscripts welcomed Carol Zierhoffer, senior vice president and global CIO of Bechtel engineering and construction company, to its board of directors. Ms. Zierhoffer serves as a member of the board’s audit committee.

3. Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, Israel, tapped Allscripts in August to provide and develop health IT software and solutions across its ARC Innovation Center in Chicago.

4. Allscripts has contracted with 18 new physician practices for ambulatory and population health software in 2020, including Family Medical Associates of Raleigh (N.C.); Urology Centers of Alabama in Birmingham; and AllCare Health in Grants Pass, Ore.

5. On Oct. 13, Allscripts announced it formed an agreement to sell its care coordination company CarePort Health to home health software provider WellSky for $1.35 billion. CarePort provides post-acute outcomes management software to hospitals and ACOs and is included in Allscripts’ data, analytics and care coordination reporting segment.

6. Strata Decision Technology completed its $365 million acquisition of Epsi, Allscripts’ healthcare decision analytics and budgeting business on Oct. 15. Epsi provides financial decision support and planning tools for hospitals and health systems while Strata offers a cloud-based financial analytics platform for healthcare financial planning and decision support. 

Cerner

7. Cerner welcomed a handful of new executives over the last few months, including Peter Liebert as Cerner Government Services’ new vice president and chief information security officer; William Mintz as Cerner’s new chief strategy officer; and Ron Lattomus as the company’s new director of federal programs. The company also announced Oct. 28 that senior vice president and CFO Marc Naughton will leave his post in 2021.

8. On Aug. 3, revenue cycle management services provider R1 announced it finalized its acquisition of Cerner’s RevWorks services business. In separate deals, Cerner and investment firm LRVHealth invested $6 million in digital health startup Xealth as part of a new collaboration in August, and in September Cerner said it will integrate advance care planning tech provider Vynca’s solution with its Millennium EHR to help clinicians streamline patient health information with their end-of-life care preferences. 

9. The U.S. Coast Guard began deploying the Department of Defense’s new Cerner EHR system at four medical facility pilot sites in California in August. The Department of Veterans Affairs later deployed the first capabilities of its new $16 billion Cerner EHR system on Oct. 24 at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, Wash.

10. Amazon on Aug. 27 launched its new health tracking device Halo, which is integrated into Cerner’s EHR solutions to allow device users to opt in to share their health data directly into their EHR and with care teams that use Cerner. San Diego-based Sharp Healthcare was the first Cerner client to participate in the collaboration.

11. Finland officials partnered with Cerner in September to help build a new digital platform that will combine healthcare and social services, providing citizens with access to integrated outpatient and inpatient care, behavioral healthcare and family services.

12. During his keynote address at the company’s virtual health conference Oct. 13, Cerner CEO Brent Shafer outlined the EHR vendor’s new initiatives and software tools targeting data quality, interoperability and social determinants of health. Mr. Shafer unveiled two new product portfolios related to the initiatives: Cerner Unite and Cerner Discover.

13. Cerner opened a search for more health systems to join St. Joseph’s Health and Indiana University Health as testing partners for its new EHR voice assistance technology. Powered in conjunction with Nuance’s virtual assistant capability, Voice Assist will allow clinicians to interact with their Cerner EHR using just their voice and the phrase “Hey Cerner” as a way to decrease manual data documentation.

Epic

14. In early August, hundreds of Epic employees began voicing concerns to the EHR giant about its then-required on-campus return in September. Epic then notified its employees on Aug. 8 it was adjusting return-to-work requirements and tapped Cleveland Clinic to review its plans. On Aug. 12, Epic informed employees they would be permitted to work from home through at least the end of 2020. Epic also confirmed plans in August to merge four of its departments: end user training, implementation, quality assurance and technical communications, into one larger application services division.

15. Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner shared insights on the company’s COVID-19 response, business philosophy and current projects during Cleveland Clinic’s Ideas for Tomorrow virtual speaker series Sept. 2. Ms. Faulkner said that Epic’s database initiative Cosmos has surpassed the more than 50 million records goal it planned to add in 2020, with more than 60 million records stored and adding more each day.

16. Epic has formed partnerships with several tech companies in recent months. On Sept. 22, Microsoft announced the EHR giant is the first medical record system to integrate the Microsoft Teams connector, which allows clinicians and patients to launch telehealth visits through the platform. In October, Lyft announced it is integrating with Epic to allow healthcare workers to coordinate patient transportation directly from the EHR.

17. Four healthcare providers signed on in October to implement a new payer platform jointly developed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and Epic that is designed to securely exchange health information between insurers and providers and streamline administrative processes such as prior authorizations and paying claims. The four providers participating in the first wave of deployment are: NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Ill.; DuPage Medical Group in Downers Grove, Ill.; Access Community Health Network in Chicago; and Northwest Community Healthcare in Arlington Heights, Ill. 

18. University of Minnesota and M Health Fairview researchers created an AI algorithm in October that evaluates chest X-rays to diagnose potential cases of COVID-19 and made it available at scale for free in Epic’s App Orchard. 

19. Several hospitals and health systems have selected Epic for new EHRs or went live on new systems over the past few months, including Walton, N.Y.-based UHS Delaware Valley Hospital; Carson City, Nev.-based Carson Tahoe Health; Rolla, Mo.-based Phelps Health; and York, Pa.-based WellSpan Health.

20. In October, Epic teamed up with InterSystems’ data platform for its EHR to increase clinicians’ access to larger datasets and information for patient care. Under the partnership, Epic will apply InterSystems’ IRIS Data platform as the foundation for its EHR system. 

Meditech

21. Meditech completed several EHR go-lives from August through September, deploying new systems at Globe, Ariz.-based Cobre Valley Regional Medical Center; San Luis Valley Health; Portsmouth-based Southern Ohio Medical Center.

22. On Oct. 1, Milford (Mass.) Regional Medical Center went live on an $18 million new Meditech EHR system. The go-live marked the first time the medical center is on a single EHR platform with its hospital and affiliated medical offices since implementing digital patient records in the 1980s.

23. The American Health Information Management Association partnered with Meditech in September on a new initiative to provide EHR digital training for 16,000 students at more than 300 colleges and universities using Meditech’s Expanse system. 

24. Meditech announced a new partnership with AI developer Nuance on Sept. 9 to launch a voice assistant for clinicians using its Expanse EHR system.

25. Providence Services Group acquired Meditech consulting firm Navin, Haffty & Associates, which was founded in 2001 and collaborated with Meditech to develop the ready EHR implementation model in 2012. Renton, Wash.-based Providence owns Providence Services Group.

More articles on EHRs:
WellSpan Health deploys Epic EHR: 3 notes 
VA goes live on $16B Cerner EHR: 5 things to know 
‘You can’t manage what you don’t measure’: How Lyft, Epic are tackling patients’ SDOH needs through new integration


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