Novant Health migrates to Epic cloud-based EHR system

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Novant Health has completed its migration to one of the largest deployments using Epic’s Virtustream Healthcare Cloud platform.

Executives at the system say the new platform will help it improve business efficiencies and better meet evolving electronic health records regulations and other industry requirements. Novant Health—a delivery system with facilities in North Carolina and much southwest—has been using the Epic electronic health record system since 2011.

Since then, the system has gone through numerous upgrades and having to refresh the infrastructure more often than anticipated. The shift to the cloud is expected to reduce these tasks.

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“We chose Virtustream to match with Epic in the cloud because it could meet all of our business, security, technical and costs requirements,” says James Kluttz, chief technology officer.

With Epic moving to quarterly updates of its technology, Novant Health also had to become more agile, and the new platform frees up the provider’s engineering staff to work on other projects. “The churn of infrastructure was becoming costly,” Kluttz adds. “We wanted a predictable cost model.” In the latest upgrade, the task was completed in a matter of days when previous upgrades could take months.

With the successes came a lesson, however, Kluttz recalls. For example, he believes he may have underestimated the importance of shared ownership and governance.

Overall, Kluttz believes the healthcare industry is just now beginning to recognize the benefits of cloud integration. “We have to be able to adapt to patient shifts in care,” he asserts. “Those open-minded and willing to look at things differently and invest in people differently will be the ones who see the benefits.”

With the core work done and having the platform in place, the system can tackle other initiatives, including application retirement, operational optimization and migrating Novant’s integration engine with its millions of daily transactions to the Virtustream Healthcare Cloud.

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