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Ballad Health will adopt common technology platform for health records

Johnson City Press • Updated Jun 6, 2018 at 1:34 PM

The Ballad Health Board of Directors has approved a plan to adopt a technology platform that will integrate health records and data from its 22 hospitals and points of service into a single, cohesive system. 

The board selected Epic, a prominent software company, as its partner for implementing the plan.

The move is designed to improve technology, provide tools for innovative research and sustain the highest level of quality patient care to the region, according to a Wednesday press release. Once completed, each Ballad Health patient will be able to access their personalized health record on a personal computer or mobile device. 

“This conversion to Epic will also streamline services, such as scheduling, clinical applications, financial, and population health initiatives. Providers will be able to interact with other providers and health care organizations, regardless of where those organizations are located or which system they use,” the press release read. 

Epic’s data exchange technology means Ballad Health patient data will remain more secure but can still be easily accessed and utilized by health providers to improve care. 

“This connectivity contributes to better patient safety and helps lower cost by reducing duplicate testing and helping to prevent adverse medication interactions from different prescribers,” the release read. 

“Additionally, a common technology platform will make Ballad Health a logical partner for research opportunities, which will contribute to diversification of the region’s economy.”

Wellmont Health System, a legacy system of Ballad, adopted the Epic platform in 2014. Officials expect to implement Epic throughout the rest of Ballad Health by spring 2020, with new facilities coming online in 2019. 

Other health systems currently using Epic include the Cleveland Clinic, Duke University Health System, Geisinger Health System, Mayo Clinic, Mercy Health and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

The Ballad Health board also announced the formation of a new IT strategy committee to ensure “optimal integration” of the new system. It will also be tasked with developing a long-term data strategy to ensure patients can optimize their health by utilizing the technology. 

That committee will be chaired by Barbara Allen, and its membership will include: 

• Dr. David May, chair of the Ballad Health quality committee

• Scott Niswonger, founder of LandAir and ForwardAir

• Dr. Amit Vashist, chair of the Ballad Health clinical council

• Gary Peacock, Ballad Health’s finance chairman

• Dr. Jerry Blackwell, Ballad Health’s chief medical officer

• Tony Keck, Ballad Health’s chief population health officer

• Alan Levine, Ballad Health’s chairman and chief executive officer

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