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Advocate Health Care's Technology Plans for the Long Run

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, November 20, 2012

Advocate is also producing a Web layer over those three record systems. "Our Web layer product pulls the three of them together and displays the information to make it look like one common record," he says.

When I mention Meaningful Use Stage 2, Smith seems confident Advocate can hit the Meaningful Use Stage 2 adoption deadlines set by CMS for 2014, despite talk around the healthcare IT industry of vendors being unable to make it happen.

"We have some concern, although a lot of it's not necessarily the vendor, either. It's our own internal processes," Smith says. "It's like most things we do: If you plan it and you work hard at it, you can make it happen. So far, I will say our vendors have been very good. I think Cerner's been particularly good to work with. They've delivered on everything we've needed. The stuff they've delivered on has been good quality, so I'm pretty confident in that area.

"I probably have a little bit more concern about Allscripts. So we're just going to have to kind of see how that works out. But overall, we think we're positioned pretty well. When we look at what Washington's trying to do, which is trying to get the industry to get with the times and automate, I think it's very worthwhile, and we certainly appreciate all the money that we've gotten and what we're going to get through the Meaningful Use process."

Outsourcing its data center to another company saved Advocate $15 to $20 million in capital expense, and offered "significant savings both in capital and operating expense" over the ten-year period of the agreement, Smith says.

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