Yuma Regional Medical Center in Arizona will implement inpatient and ambulatory electronic health records software from Epic Systems Corp. under a five-year, $73.3 million initiative.

The 333-bed hospital also will use several ancillary systems from the Verona, Wis.-based vendor. As part of the initiative, Yuma Regional is hiring 49 new I.T. professionals.

The hospital will offer the ambulatory EHR to community physicians but has not yet decided if it will subsidize the cost, according to a spokesperson. The hospital will work from 2010-2014 to link interested community physicians to the hospital EHR. Other timelines include:

* 2010-2011: Develop the EHR for the emergency and pharmacy departments and nursing units, and implement a health information management system.

* 2011-2013: Implement and roll out EHR modules to physicians and staff.

* 2012-2013: Implement computerized ordering and electronic charting for physicians, and prepare cardiology and radiology for the EHR launch.

* 2013-2014: Prepare the surgery and anesthesia departments for EHR implementation.

Web portal technology will by 2012 enable consumers to locate physicians, schedule appointments, obtain testing instructions, check laboratory results, access education materials, pay bills, and securely message their physicians and other providers, according to the timeline.

More information is available at yumaregional.org.

--Joseph Goedert


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