The Mayo Clinic has begun rolling out its $1.5 billion integrated Epic electronic health record and revenue cycle management system, replacing multiple EHRs in an effort to gain efficiencies and improve patient care.

Mayo Clinic Health System sites in Wisconsin, including La Crosse, Onalaska, Prairie du Chien and Sparta, recently went live on the Epic system as part of the initial installation with 5,500 users.

“The implementation is going well,” says Steve Peters, MD, Mayo’s medical information officer and physician director. “Additional Mayo Clinic sites will go live through 2018. Mayo Clinic Health System sites in Minnesota go live in November, followed by Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus in May 2018 and its campuses in Florida and Arizona in October 2018.”

Staff at each site will receive training about six weeks prior to their go-live dates, Peters noted. Ultimately, more than 51,000 Mayo Clinic staff will be trained to use the new system, he added.

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Two years in the making, the integrated EHR/RCM system replaces three disparate EHRs and is envisioned as the foundation for Mayo Clinic operations over the next several decades. The focus of the effort is on sharing information with patients and the ability to share information across Mayo’s sites.

“We are looking for ways to be more efficient and improve the patient experience,” contends Peters. “We believe that an integrated EHR across all of our sites can help us with our core mission of meeting patient needs. It’s taking the best practices of Mayo Clinic to benefit all patients at all sites—converging on a common set of tools and bringing the best of Mayo Clinic to each patient’s care.”

In its efforts to improve revenue cycle management, the healthcare organization is looking to “make bills easier to understand for patients and to address upcoming changes in reimbursement as we move from fee-for-service to value.”

According to Christopher Ross, chief information officer at Mayo, only a portion of the $1.5 billion to be spent over multiple years goes toward the EHR and RCM replacement.

“The majority of this expense is for Mayo staff involved in complex design decisions and configuring the Epic software to meet Mayo’s specific needs,” says Ross. “Other technology investments are to advance patient care, to upgrade the data network and improve information security.”

“We are grateful for the thousands of Mayo Clinic staff who have been involved in preparing us for this moment,” concludes Peters. “Over the last two and a half years, thousands of Mayo Clinic staff have been involved in planning, building and testing the new system.”