The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced it had selected an Epic competitor, Cerner, to supply its electronic health records (EHR) system for its seven care and treatment facilities, which serve people living with psychiatric disorders and intellectual disabilities.
The state’s top health agency chose Kansas City, Missouri-based Cerner for the 10-year, $33 million contract.
Meghan Roh, Epic spokesperson, said in a statement, “Epic chose not to participate in the Wisconsin Department of Health Services selection process given the smaller size and scope of this particular project. Over 90 percent of Wisconsinites have a record in Epic and we look forward to our continued partnership with health systems across the Badger State.”
The contract calls for the implementation of an EHR system for Central Wisconsin Center (CWC) in Madison, Mendota Mental Health Institute (MMHI) in Madison, Northern Wisconsin Center (NWC) in Chippewa Falls, Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center (SRSTC) in Mauston, Southern Wisconsin Center (SWC) in Union Grove, Winnebago Mental Health Institute (WMHI) in Winnebago, and the Wisconsin Resource Center (WRC) in Winnebago.
“This is an investment in more coordinated, efficient services,” DHS Secretary Linda Seemeyer said in a statement. “This system is designed to enhance the health and safety of patients and residents and improve staff productivity. A state-of-the-art electronic health records system also will help us attract and retain staff.”
Winnebago Mental Health Institute will be the first facility to go-live with the new system in 2018. The other six facilities will come online in phases, with all the facilities expected to be using the system by the end of 2019, according to a DHS press release.
DHS officials said the contract signing follows months of work by program area experts at the facilities and DHS headquarters to identify requirements for the electronic health records system. A request for proposals was issued in July 2016, with submissions due in October 2016. Five vendors submitted proposals. Three product demonstrations were held in December 2016. DHS began contract negotiations with Cerner in February 2017.
DHS has created an Office of Electronic Health Records Systems Management to oversee the project and ongoing maintenance of the Cerner solutions and services, DHS officials said.
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