NYC hos­pi­tals set to launch EHR sys­tem amid con­tro­versy

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Joseph Conn

Elmhurst Hospital Cen­ter and Queens Hospital Cen­ter, which are part of the na­tion’s largest pub­lic health sys­tem, are in­stalling a new elec­tronic health record sys­tem pro­vided by Epic Sys­tems Corp. It’s part of a $764 mil­lion, six-year health in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy up­grade at NYC Health & Hos­pi­tals sys­tem that has faced unique con­tro­versy and pub­lic scrutiny.

Epic will have about 275 of its per­son­nel on hand for the launch, said Eric Helsher, a com­pany vice pres­i­dent.

The project has al­ready ex­pe­ri­enced sev­eral bumps. Allscripts dis­puted its com­peti­tor Epic’s award of the con- tract, and even sued, but later dropped the suit.

Then, last year, two top IT of­fi­cials, two other ad­min­is­tra­tors and seven con­sul­tants at the sys­tem de­parted.

The New York Post al­leges the launch is be­ing rushed, pos­si­bly putting pa­tient safety and pri­vacy at risk. The Post, re­ly­ing on un­named sources, said CEO Dr. Ram Raju was “un­der the gun from City Hall” to meet the April 1 dead­line, and feared he would be fired if he didn’t com­ply.

The Post also re­ported that a physi­cian, Dr. Charles Perry, re­signed from the health sys­tem and in a res­ig­na­tion email “urged col­leagues ... to sound the alarm” to stop the sys­tem from go­ing live. He likened the im­pend­ing EHR launch to the Chal­lenger space shut­tle dis­as­ter of 1986, in which its sev­en­mem­ber crew died.

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