Sutter Health Increases Investment in Electronic Health Record System
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 5, 2007 – Sutter Health plans to invest an additional $300 million in its electronic health record (EHR) initiative across its Northern California network, in an ongoing effort to further improve clinical outcomes, enhance patient safety and reduce the cost of high-quality care.
Sutter Health's EHR investment has grown to $450 million as the network has expanded the scope of its initiative to include improved workflows, additional administrative features and greater clinical functionality. In 2004, Sutter Health estimated the cost of implementing the EHR at $154 million.
Sutter's investment in the EHR is part of its comprehensive plan to transform health care, according to Sutter Health Chief Information Officer Jon Manis. Manis said the EHR budget will likely be adjusted further as the design and scope of the project evolves to ultimately provide even better support systems for physicians, our other professionals and patients.
"As leaders in the health care industry, we believe that quality should permeate everything we do and that the way we deliver care should be consistently great," said Manis. "As a part of achieving this goal, we are actively looking for better ways to do business. This includes how we implement information technology across our system."
Sutter Health is among the leaders of a national drive to digitize medical records. Most of the network's medical foundations are currently online. The EHR will be implemented at Sutter's Northern California acute care hospitals following a systemwide effort to transform work processes that will be impacted by the electronic system. "Our EHR is and will continue to be one of the most comprehensive and patient-centric systems ever implemented in the United States," said Manis.
Once completed, Sutter's online system will electronically connect more than 5,000 physicians, 25 hospitals and millions of patients across its not-for-profit Northern California network. The inpatient-outpatient system will be one of the first in the United States to include secure patient access to EHR data.
The EHR program is just one part of Sutter's ongoing effort to further improve patient care through early adoption of best practices and tools that support caregivers in their important work. Systemwide, Sutter Health has implemented a broad range of additional patient safety technologies such as medication bar coding and our eICU® system.