Epic wins tender for Royal Children's EMR

US-based EMR giant Epic has won the much sought-after tender to provide an electronic medical record for Melbourne's Royal Children’s Hospital.

The $48 million contract was announced by Victorian Premier Denis Napthine today after a very competitive tender process that is understood to have included all of the major US and local EMR vendors.

Epic Systems' CEO Judy Faulkner is thought to have personally visited Melbourne as part of the bid. Ms Faulkner, who founded the company in 1979 and has since built it into a billion-dollar business, is famously publicity-shy.

The company also keeps a low profile and a purposefully small client base in acute care, but also provides software for large medical centres and healthcare organisations in the US. It is also active in personal health records.

Dr Napthine said in a statement that Epic was used in seven of the top 10 paediatric hospitals in the US. It is one of the few EMRs that can achieve HIMSS levels 6 and 7 certifications.

“Epic EMR systems are an exciting new addition to Victorian healthcare,” Dr Napthine said. “Its reputation for delivering smart and innovative systems in similar hospitals in the US, Netherlands and South Africa gives every confidence that it will be ideal for Victoria’s Royal Children’s Hospital.

“Patients and their families will receive better care through this system which will allow doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to access a range of information and treatment history easily and efficiently.

“The new system will also give parents the ability to interact directly with the hospital using their smart phones to schedule appointments.”

The federal and state governments have each put in half of the money for the new system. Health Minister David Davis said it was expected to go live in the middle of the year, with a full roll-out taking four years.

“This program will provide a whole suite of services to patients, their parents, health professionals and administrators at their fingertips,” Mr Davis said.

“The right information will be available to right people at the right time to deliver the best possible care.

“It will enable staff to manage medications, and other patient care activity with real-time decision support that will facilitate best practice.

“Another portal will enable authorised GPs, private paediatricians and other care partners such as Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service to view patient records and refer patients electronically.”

Mr Davis said clinicians had been involved in defining and evaluating the project and “firmly advocate in favour of the project, given its clinical advantages,” he said.

Posted in Australian eHealth

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