description: Bexar County’s public hospital district is spending $170 million to update its health information technology — an investment that administrators say could save the system millions of dollars and improve patient care.
Bexar County’s public hospital district is spending $170 million to update its health information technology — an investment that administrators say could save the system millions of dollars and improve patient care.
University Health Systems relies on its computer software for everything from billing to ordering lab tests to keeping accurate patient records.
The brand-new electronic health record (EHR) system developed by Epic Systems Corp. is being deployed over a three-year period. It promises to help the public hospital run more efficiently, increase patient safety — for example, it checks a patient’s medication list for adverse drug interactions — and improve patients’ experience, allowing them to message their doctor with questions on their smartphone.
Epic Systems already handles patient records for 72 percent of Americans, and most medical schools are teaching its students on its system.
UHS, a $1.8-billion agency in the South Texas Medical Center and the teaching hospital for UT Health San Antonio, which is already using Epic.
The new patient record system should be fully implemented by May 2020, said hospital administrator Bill Phillips. He estimates the reduction in the number of current applications alone will save $12 million annually.
UT Health San Antonio, which relies on University as its teaching hospital, already uses Epic.
UHS, an $1.8-billion agency located in the South Texas Medical Center, is moving off of an outdated EHR system that periodically requires 24 hours of downtime for updates.
Phillips, who has been working at University for more than 30 years, said the hospital was an early adopter of electronic health records. The facility, he