Intermountain, UPMC to Switch from Oracle Cerner to Epic

Sept. 8, 2023
In the same week, Intermountain Health and UPMC both announced that they were shifting from Oracle Cerner to Epic for their core enterprise-wide EHR systems

Two nationally prominent integrated health systems are about to switch electronic health record (EHR) vendors from the Kansas City-based Oracle Cerner to the Verona, Wis.-based Epic Systems Corporation. Leaders at the 33-hospital, 385-clinic, Salt Lake City, Ut.-based Intermountain Health and the 40-hospital-plus, 800-outpatient-site, Pittsburgh-based UPMC health system are moving from Oracle Cerner, to Epic. Both health systems have hundreds of outpatient clinic locations as well. In UPMC's case, the health system is shifting from nine EHRs to Epic only.

In the case of the Salt Lake City-based health system, Intermountain Health spokesperson Lance Madigan confirmed for Healthcare Innovation on Sep. 8 that “Intermountain Health will be moving to a single Electronic Health Record (EHR) across the organization by the end of 2025. This decision was made with input from thousands of physicians, Advanced Practice Providers (APPs), nurses, and EHR users from across the organization, and is in support of Intermountain’s efforts to prioritize the caregiver and patient experience and to simplify work.”

Madigan stated that “Epic will be the single EHR for the organization due to strong functional offerings and significantly higher physician and APP EHR satisfaction scores. Key points that informed the decision,” he said, are the following:

•            Intermountain heard from thousands of physicians, APPs, nurses and clinicians who agree a single EHR is in the best interest of the organization, caregivers, and patients.

•            As a leading health system, Intermountain needs an aligned EHR solution that enables clinicians and caregivers to coordinate care across facilities and provide the best possible care to patients.  

•            The existing Cerner contract, which supports the current EHR at Intermountain’s Utah facilities, is coming to an end in November.

•            There is an urgent need to find an EHR solution that can best support Intermountain facilities in Idaho and Nevada, where their legacy EHR systems are in need of replacement.

•            Epic is currently used by Intermountain facilities in Colorado and Montana.

•            Moving to a single EHR platform will help achieve significant cost savings over time.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson at UPMC confirmed that the switch to Epic will end the reliance on nine different EHR products. That confirmation followed the publication on Sep. 5 of an interview in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Post-Gazette reporter Kris B. Mamula interviewed UPMC chief technology officer Chris Carmody about the shift. Mamula wrote that “Lower operating costs, improved cybersecurity and freeing doctors to spend more time with patients are among the advantages of the change, which begins in the fourth quarter after two years of planning.”

“It’s not just a technology transfer, it’s truly transformational for the system,” Mr. Carmody told the Post-Gazette. “We’re really guided by our clinicians in how we build this system. Care doesn’t slow down for data to move.” And he noted that, for years now, most inpatient patient records have been inside the Oracle Cerner system, while most outpatient patient records have been inside the Epic system.

Mamula also quoted UPMC CIO Ed McCallister, who told him that “It’s one of the most transformative activities we’d had here at UPMC,” he said. “It’s going to impact everybody. It’s the entirety of the organization that’s going to move this forward.”

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