The Mayo Clinic is just days away from implementing a single, integrated Epic electronic health record and revenue cycle management system at its campus in Rochester, Minn. The May 5 go-live will be the third of four planned implementations across the enterprise.

The Epic rollout is dubbed the Plummer Project after Henry Plummer, MD, who created the world’s first patient-centered, unified health record at Mayo Clinic more than a century ago. The implementation began with Mayo Clinic Health System Wisconsin last summer and continued in the fall with Mayo Clinic Health System Minnesota. Saturday’s go-live at the Mayo Clinic Rochester campus will be followed by the Florida and Arizona campuses this fall.

Mayo is replacing multiple separate EHRs with one system, which was built to meet the specific needs its patients and staff, according to Steve Peters, MD, Mayo Clinic’s chief medical information officer and co-chair of the Plummer Project.

“With our staff working together on a common system, we will be able to provide a better experience for our patients and bring the best of Mayo Clinic to each patient’s care,” says Peters. “We also want to continue to do better and advance what we do with revenue cycle management to make bills easier to understand and to address upcoming changes in reimbursement as we move from fee-for-service to value. Our focus is on sharing information with patients and having the ability to share information across our sites.”

Peters contends that May Clinic will spend about $1.5 billion on this major technology modernization program “over multiple years for many purposes, not the Plummer Project alone,” with only a portion of that amount going toward the EHR and revenue cycle replacement. He also notes that “only a portion of that will go to Epic, since much of the work is being done by Mayo Clinic staff.”

In addition, Peters points out that other technology investments as part of the project will advance patient care, upgrade the data network and improve information security.

Also See: Mayo Clinic starts to roll out $1.5B Epic EHR-RCM system

“After the previous two go-lives (in Wisconsin and Minnesota), we’re already seeing the benefits—we’re able to consult with colleagues about patient care more efficiently, offer answers more quickly and ultimately, spend more time with our patients,” Peters contends. “There is one system for registration, scheduling and patient movement. Before, as patients moved between Mayo Clinic Health System and Rochester, they made appointments in different systems. Now all appointment information will be in the same system.”

About 42,000 employees have been trained to use the new system to date, and overall, more than 51,000 Mayo Clinic staff members will be educated in its use, according to Peters.

He notes that Mayo is converting 10 years of patient data directly into Epic, with a few exceptions.

“Essentially all of our data—including the older data we didn’t convert directly to Epic—will go into a repository that makes data available instantaneously through a historic viewer,” Peters says. “Because we are operating on separate systems today, we have means to share records between campuses that we are using now. As we get on to one system, all of those custom connections will sunset.”

According to Peters, this effort required a lot of hard work and investment in data archive and conversion. “There are certainly some manual efforts involved in moving things—like appointments and orders—in the final days before conversion,” he concludes. “We’ve had some busy weekends with administrative staff working hard, but we expect it will go smoothly.”

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Health Data Management content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access