Latest EHR Systems Target Smaller Healthcare Facilities
By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 16 Mar 2017
Image: Software provider Epic will release two new electronic health record (EHR) systems (Photo courtesy of iStock).
New minimalist electronic health record (EHR) systems will feature lower prices, but will also provide less functionality.
The latest EHR systems from Epic, which are currently under development, will come with lower price tags and will target smaller healthcare providers that have not traditionally been within the company’s orbit. The two new Epic platforms are the Utility EHR, a moderately smaller version of the larger Epic ecosystem (which the company now refers to as All Terrain), and the Sonnet EHR, a more significantly slimmed-down implementation of All Terrain with many fewer modules.
The new product offerings will target critical access hospitals, physician practices, and post-acute care facilities, such as rehabilitation hospitals, and will include data analytics and population health modules. Users of the Sonnet system will have an optional upgrade path to the larger Utility and All Terrain EHR systems. Larger health systems will also be able to install Sonnet in a section of their systems while using a configuration of the larger All Terrain offering in the rest of their network.
“The features that would be removed would be things that other major EHR vendors already don't have, so you won't really be missing anything. What that allows us to do is have a shorter implementation, reduce maintenance, and also have a lower price point,” said Adam Whitlatch, director of research and development at Epic. “It's still the same Epic. It's still the same fully integrated, inpatient-outpatient system with revenue cycle management, patient portal, and [it's] still based on the patient being at the heart of the system.”
The 2009 American Reinvestment & Recovery Act (ARRA) included many measures to encourage and promote the modernization of healthcare infrastructure, one of which was the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. ARRA set aside nearly USD 20 billion in incentives for hospitals and physicians who adopt qualified, certified EHRs with the ability to exchange information with other sources, which was defined conceptually as meaningful use (MU).