August 7, 2009 - Merge Healthcare and HealthPartners, a non-profit health organization in the nation, completed a project to integrate a radiology PACS from Merge with an electronic health record (EHR) solution from Epic. The new platform is now used at St. Paul-based Regions Hospital and across 18 HealthPartners outpatient clinics and medical offices.
The integration is designed to improve operational efficiencies, enhance patient care, and increase satisfaction among patients and clinicians. Radiologists no longer wait for manual delivery of information from some departments or use extra keystrokes to toggle between two systems. According to the hospital administration, it has significantly reduced report turnaround time to referring doctors.
In conjunction with integrating the PACS and EHR, HealthPartners also managed a “big bang” transition from film to filmless in 18 outpatient settings. As a next step in the continued integration of the systems throughout the organization, Boren said HealthPartners will soon begin analysis of bringing the integrated EHR and PACS into their critical access hospitals in smaller cities in Western Wisconsin.