By Chuck Podesta and Christopher Longhurst, MD. In early November, UC Irvine Health and UC San Diego Health began sharing the same instance of Epic, our electronic medical records (EMR) system. This is a first-of-its-kind technology collaboration within UC Health, and the first time that Epic has been extended from one academic medical center (AMC) to another in the U.S.
By sharing a platform with UC San Diego Health, UCI cut the cost of implementation by an estimated 30 percent! This collaboration advances UC Health’s strategic goal to share health services and generate efficiencies across campuses through the shared implementation and maintenance of technology platforms.
It promises to enable better management of medical information, help align clinical pathways and practices that leverage the best of both organizations, as well as better support joint research efforts.
The shared Epic platform integrates the medical records from both UCI Health and UC San Diego Health, doubling the population served by our healthcare providers using the system. Combined, the two organizations offer care to patients located in Imperial, San Diego, Riverside, and Orange counties.
The idea behind this collaboration is part of a bigger movement in the health care community known as “systemness.” This is best described as combining assets and services to provide better and more efficient health care.
UC San Diego Health also shares its instance of Epic with UC Riverside Health clinics and community practice affiliates, a cost-saving arrangement that improves coordination of care among physicians.
On a related note, in September 2017, UC San Diego Health achieved Magna Cum Laude in Epic’s Honor Roll Program. The program, administered by Epic Inc., is voluntary and incentivizes Epic customers to strive for continuous improvement of Epic software. UC San Diego Health is the first organization, using Epic’s cloud-based hosting solution, to achieve this distinction. We believe our efforts to optimize the shared Epic platform will allow us to receive the Summa Cum Laude distinction in the near future!