With help from Mercy Technology Services (MTS), Tupelo-based North Mississippi Health Services (NMHS) successfully launched a new Epic electronic health record (EHR) last month, rolling the system out in NMHS’ ambulatory care locations. NMHS now uses Epic across its regional network of primary and specialty clinics and nursing homes, as well as for its telehealth services.
NMHS’ go-live is the latest in more than 50 Epic installations overseen by MTS, the technology backbone of St. Louis-based Mercy health system. One of the earliest adopters of the Epic EHR in the country, MTS has more than a decade’s experience optimizing the system for doctors and nurses working under real world conditions.
To serve its more than 730,000 patients in Mississippi and Alabama, NMHS had employed multiple disparate EHR systems. As with many of MTS’ client organizations, NMHS was able to use Epic to consolidate its ambulatory medical records into a single EHR, enabling better coordination of care across multiple care settings for its 800 plus providers.
“Before, our clinic providers had to switch between multiple systems, causing frustration and delays,” said David Barber, president of North Mississippi Medical Clinics. “With Epic, all of the information is in one place. Our providers can better care for their patients when they have the information they need at their fingertips.”
MTS’ team of seasoned EHR experts – many of whom come from clinical backgrounds where they used Epic on a daily basis – provided project leadership for the installation, helping NMHS circumvent many of the issues health systems encounter when starting up a new health record system.
“I’ve worked with many vendors and consultants in my day,” said Jim Weldon, NMHS’ chief information officer. “With Mercy, the team has the capabilities and bench strength, but they have something others don’t; Mercy is a provider just like us. They run a health system, they engage physicians and they care for patients. Partnering with another provider organization with Mercy’s depth and success is really smart for us.”
“Epic really shines in connecting touch points and improving care throughout a health system’s service area,” said Gil Hoffman, Mercy’s CIO. “We’re happy to share lessons and stretch Mercy’s mission to Mississippi to help NMHS bring about positive change in their communities.”
Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems from 2016 to 2019 by IBM Watson Health, serves millions annually. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care, managed and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, 900 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 45,000 co-workers and 2,400 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In addition, Mercy's IT division, Mercy Technology Services, supply chain organization, ROi, and Mercy Virtual commercially serve providers and patients in more than 20 states coast to coast.
About Mercy Technology Services
Mercy Technology Services (MTS), named one of Healthcare IT News’ Best Hospital IT departments and a Davies Award recipient, knows firsthand the unique needs of health care. That’s because, as the IT backbone of Mercy, a 40-plus hospital health system, we deliver mission-critical technology services daily. An early adopter of Epic’s EHR, Mercy became the nation’s first provider accredited by Epic to offer EHR solutions to other hospitals, including Epic in the cloud, implementation and optimization. With MTS’s full suite of health care offerings including cloud, managed services, PACS as a service and cloud backup and recovery, hospitals can reduce IT costs and risks. MTS’s award-winning data analytics help reduce variation and support a model of care that keeps patients healthier.
About North Mississippi Health Services
North Mississippi Health Services is dedicated to being the provider of the best patient- and family-centered care. NMHS connects patients and their families with convenient access to care that is cost efficient and of the highest quality. NMHS provides acute, diagnostic, therapeutic and emergency services, with the sole trauma center (Level 2) in our service area, through North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo. The health care system also includes community hospital locations in Amory, Eupora, Iuka, Pontotoc and West Point, Miss., and Hamilton Ala., a regional network of more than 45 primary and specialty clinics; nursing homes and telehealth services. NMHS serves 24 counties in north Mississippi and northwest Alabama from headquarters in Tupelo, Miss. NMHS is a 2012 recipient of the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and NMMC, its flagship hospital, is a 2006 Baldrige Award recipient.