Greenville News

Greenville Health System is set to purchase a $ 97 million computer system that officials say will allow the hospital to integrate all of its records across all of its campuses for the first time.

Popular with the healthcare industry, the EPIC system dominates among academic healthcare systems, said Rich Rogers, chief information officer for GHS.

“What sets it apart is that it is an integrated system … which supports the practices of physicians as well as the hospital environment and potentially long-term care, home care, medical care. palliatives, all your needs, ”he said.

“It is a system that positions our healthcare system for the future.”

EPIC will replace nearly 50 different systems currently in use, Rogers said, and allow all sites to communicate with each other.

Thus, wherever a patient presents for hospital care, whether in a doctor’s office or in the emergency room, the data will be available and the patient will only have to provide their information once, a he declared.

The new system, which also includes billing operations, will also allow 1.5 million GHS patients to access their own medical information, make appointments and communicate with their doctors through a secure web portal, did he declare.

The hospital has security in place to monitor breaches to protect patient information and privacy, he said.

“There are bad guys out there who always try to stay ahead of the security tool companies,” Rogers said. “So this requires constant monitoring. You can’t relax. “

The hospital plans to have most doctors’ offices in the system by next July, with most hospitals hired the following February, he said.

New acquisitions, such as Laurens County Medical Center and Oconee Medical Center, will be integrated in July 2016, he said.

GHS also includes Greenville Memorial, Greer Memorial, Patewood Memorial, Hillcrest Memorial, North Greenville Hospital, and Baptist Easley Hospital.

The cost, which Rogers says is consistent with what other major healthcare systems have paid for, includes new hardware, like PCs and laptops, as well as software and training.

“We see this as a transformative initiative,” he said. “This is a great foundation as we move into new models of healthcare delivery where we begin to focus more on maintaining the health of patients rather than their episodic treatment. “

To pay EPIC, GHS plans to issue about $ 91 million in tax bonds, of which about $ 45 million will go towards its purchase, Treasurer Larry Gosnell said.

The remainder of those bonds will be used to fund capital improvements, such as the renovation of the intensive care unit at Greenville Memorial Hospital, he said, while operating revenue will pay for the rest of the IT system. .

The bonds carry a standard fixed interest rate of around 4% to 4.5%, Gosnell said.

“The rates are favorable right now,” he said. “What about the impact on the debt? That will add about $ 4 million a year in interest charges.”

Although the hospital’s debt will increase by more than $ 90 million, he said all three credit rating agencies have claimed that GHS has the ability to manage its debt without affecting its rating, which is AA- with Standard & Poor and Fitch, and A1 with Moody’s, he said.

Comments are closed.