The University of Michigan Health System has taken the first steps toward implementing a suite of ambulatory and inpatient information systems from Epic Systems Corp. across its enterprise of three-hospitals and about two-dozen outpatient facilities.

The Ann Arbor-based delivery system has signed a $20 million contract to implement the Verona, Wis.-based vendor's ambulatory clinical, registration/scheduling and billing/revenue cycle management systems during the next two years. The contract also includes patient and physician Web portals.

Implementation will start following a multi-month study of all the clinical and administrative processes that currently rely on automated and manual processes, and ways to improve researchers' access to the university's clinical information, which will include identifying appropriate patients for clinical trials.

If the ambulatory side goes well, the university then would sign a new contract to implement similar systems in its hospitals, pharmacies and the central medical records department. Over time, the university expects Epic applications to replace much of its existing information systems, including the homegrown CareWeb EHR.

Among other goals, the university expects new systems to enable it to meet meaningful use requirements and the Oct. 2013 deadline to use the ICD-10 code sets.

--Joseph Goedert


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