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Advocate Unifies EHR Platform Ahead of Merger with Aurora

News  |  By Jack O'Brien  
   February 01, 2018

After deciding in December to merge with Aurora Health Care, the Chicago-based health system detailed plans to use the same EHR system as its partner.

Advocate Health Care announced plans Thursday to transition to a single-platform electronic health record (EHR) and revenue cycle system by Epic ahead of Advocate’s planned merger with Aurora Health Care.

Advocate President and CEO Jim Skogsbergh said the decision is in line with the health system’s efforts to “reimagine healthcare delivery” while improving the consumer experience.

“Transitioning to our new system-wide electronic health record will enable us to improve care coordination and operational efficiency, allowing Advocate physicians and nurses more time to do what they do best – provide the highest quality and safest care for our patients,” Skogsbergh said in a statement.

The decision to embrace a single-platform EHR comes two months after Advocate announced plans to merge with Aurora, the largest health system in Wisconsin, which also utilizes the Epic platform.

Related: Advocate-Aurora Merger Latest in Healthcare Consolidation Trend

Related: ‘Where Are The Gains?’: 3 Cost-Reduction Opportunities in Advocate-Aurora Merger

Lisa Lesniak, vice president of public affairs for Advocate, told HealthLeaders Media in December that the two companies were assembling an integration team to determine how to approach the EHR situation in the merger.

Unified EHR systems are widely regarded as both beneficial and expensive endeavor for health systems, providing a uniform platform for physicians and nurses to use while also costing millions to install and maintain.

The move to Epic will benefit patients through an integrated approach focused on improved interoperability, according to the statement. Advocate expects the platform to provide patients with upgraded access to medical and billing records, expanded online scheduling options, and digital check-in features.

Advocate said the transition, which will require training for more than 17,000 physicians, nurses, and associates on the new system, will be completed within three years

Jack O'Brien is the Content Team Lead and Finance Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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