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Title
WakeMed to Invest in Comprehensive Medical Records Solution
Date
11/14/2012
Article
Upgrade Will Provide Dynamic Information Portal for Providers and Patients

RALEIGH, N.C. (November 14, 2012) – WakeMed Health & Hospitals announced today its intent to invest nearly $100 million into a single platform, fully integrated electronic health record system. This investment will mark WakeMed’s largest single information technology investment to date. The electronic health record solution will be implemented throughout the WakeMed network to streamline communication, enhance patient-centered care, improve access to data for physicians and other clinicians, and lower health care costs.

WakeMed Board of Directors, administrators, physicians, and clinicians have participated in an extensive evaluation process and have unanimously agreed to begin negotiations with Epic Systems, a leading provider of electronic health records.

The decision came after an 18-month review of the current medical record solutions in place, which total approximately 130 different department-specific components. Epic will consolidate WakeMed’s electronic health records to one single system and will serve the needs of all areas of care, such as physician practices, emergency departments, operating rooms and inpatient areas. WakeMed intends to enter the first stage of the multi-year project by summer 2013, with full implementation anticipated in 2015.

“The addition of Epic will likely become a common denominator across top Triangle-area health systems,” commented Dr. Bill Atkinson, WakeMed president and CEO. “Health care and information technology are constantly evolving, and the move to a single medical record system is essential for effective communication across WakeMed and beyond.”

“Electronic records are an important part of patient-centered care,” noted West Lawson, MD, WakeMed chief medical officer. “Epic also empowers patients to have better access to their own health records and history through a patient portal.”

“With a move toward Epic, WakeMed is at the forefront of information technology,” added Denton Arledge, WakeMed vice president and CIO. “We wanted to face the challenges of how health systems work together head on. Previously, a simple internal system change could take four to six weeks, because we were dealing with 130 different medical record components. Epic will allow us to maintain one solution and make technical changes quickly. Unifying health information fosters an environment where data is available anywhere it is authorized and needed.”

Epic Systems, based out of Wisconsin, has a nationwide client base of approximately 280 mid-size and large hospitals, medical groups and health care organizations. For more information, visit www.epic.com.

About WakeMed Health & Hospitals
WakeMed Health & Hospitals is a private, not-for-profit health care organization based in Raleigh, N.C. The 870-bed system comprises a network of health care facilities throughout Wake and Johnston Counties. Centers of excellence include cardiac and vascular care, women’s and children’s services, physical rehab, emergency and trauma, orthopedics, neurosciences, home care and numerous wellness and community outreach programs. WakeMed’s team of 8,300 employees, 1,000 volunteers, more than 1,000 affiliated physicians, and 150 physicians employed by WakeMed Physician Practices serve the residents of North Carolina using the most advanced technologies to ensure the finest in health care. For more information, visit www.wakemed.org.

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