Mercy Technology Services, a shared services organization that is part of Chesterfield, Mo.-based Mercy, is building on its experience with the Epic electronic health record to offer related services outside of the Mercy system, particularly to small and mid-sized hospitals.
Mercy said on March 31 that it had become the first accredited provider of the Epic Connect program. While Epic still sells licenses to hospitals that want to use its software, the Epic Connect program allows Mercy, using a "software as a service" model, to provide implementation, application management and hosting of the Epic electronic health record system for other hospitals and health care organizations. Mercy Technology Services also provides health care analytics, using data from Epic, claims, and other sources. Mercy can help clients mine their data for enhanced patient care and to make performance-improving business decisions, according to a statement from Mercy.
Gil Hoffman, chief information officer of Mercy Technology Services, said Mercy Technology Services may enter into three or four project-based, multiyear contracts annually, as well as consulting engagements, with small health systems or small to mid-sized hospitals with 400 or fewer beds.
Hoffman said Mercy has used the Epic system for a decade, modifying and refining it on an ongoing basis for faster data entry, better work flow patterns and to improve ease of use for nurses, physicians and clinical staff at its hospitals, outpatient clinics, urgent care facilities, labs and imaging facilities.
He said client hospitals can draw from Mercy's experience and avoid costly missteps in implementing electronic medical records. "It's not a cheap failure," he said.
Mercy Technology Services, which has about 840 employees, includes Epic-certified teams who have installed and integrated the electronic health record in Mercy's 30 hospitals, 800 ambulatory departments and in support of 1,800 physicians.
Mercy has a $60 million data center in Washington, Mo., with additional capacity that it is able to lease to client hospitals. Mercy said that fire-walls keep the data discrete, for secure, HIPAA-compliant hosting of the client's Epic patient record system.
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