Dave Garrett has spent the past several years presiding over one of the most efficient EHR implementations in history. His organization, Novant Health, recently received the Stage 7 Ambulatory Award from HIMSS Analytics, recognizing the highest level of electronic record adoption. With 350 clinics across three states now using the Epic EHR (known internally as "Dimensions"), Novant more than doubled the number of Stage 7 ambulatory facilities in the country. Virtually all the 1,400 providers involved are expected to attest to meaningful use. The project was completed three years ahead of the originally scheduled five-year timetable, and Novant has started rolling out an inpatient EHR, also from Epic, to its 14 hospitals. The first went live in October. "I've done a lot of go-lives in my life, and this one is going very smoothly," Garrett says. "There's still a lot of work to do, but we're dropping bills and money is coming in. We are the best in the country at rolling out Epic, bar none." Novant is extending that expertise to independent practices through Epic's Community Connect program, where Novant will act as a vendor of Epic's EHR, and the program has generated as much interest as it can handle. Novant's I.T. investment, $600 million over 10 years, is "the largest investment it's ever made in anything," Garrett says. He talked to HDM about some of the challenges.
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