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Deer Lodge Medical Center Implements Epic

June 06, 2012

Deer Lodge Medical Center has announced it is working with St. Patrick Hospital, a member of Providence Health & Services (PH&S), to implement the Epic Electronic Health Record (EHR) through a PH&S program called Providence Community Connect. The Epic EHR is one of the most highly regarded electronic tools available in the health care industry. Program implementation will take place in late 2012.

Participating in the Providence Community Connect program will make it easier for patients and caregivers across Western Montana to access patient information by creating a single, secure, continuously updated electronic health record for each patient. Currently separate records such as medical history, medications, treatment records and test results will be linked in the Epic EHR.  This will provide the facilities access to all the information they need at the time and place they need it to maximize efficiency. It will also speed up referrals between physicians in the region and enable immediate access to essential patient information.

A secure electronic health record shared and accessed by many hospitals and providers means that Deer Lodge Medical Center and St. Patrick Hospital will be able to provide higher quality, safer and more personalized healthcare. For example, if a patient is treated at Deer Lodge Medical Center and needs to be transferred to St. Patrick Hospital for a medical reason, the patient’s medical record will already be available to the treating physician at St. Patrick Hospital. This is more efficient than other systems that require the provider to search for relevant medical information via paper file, fax or multiple electronic records. This secure and immediate access to information is crucial to the patient’s potential life-saving treatment whether that treatment occurs in Deer Lodge or Missoula.

Through the arrangement, St. Patrick Hospital will provide training and support to Deer Lodge Medical Center throughout the implementation process. Deer Lodge Medical Center will benefit from processes already built into the software through an extensive software build process established by Providence Health & Services, a non-profit ministry of hospitals and clinics, of which St. Patrick Hospital is a member.

About Deer Lodge Medical Center


Located in Deer Lodge, Montana, the hospital serves as a primary, full service medical center to communities throughout the Deer Lodge Valley. The 501 ( c )( 3 ) not-for-profit corporation is a 16-bed, acute care facility. The hospital encompasses modern technology with a home style care that creates a healing environment of kindness, compassion and courtesy. 

About St. Patrick Hospital


St. Patrick Hospital is a not-for-profit 253-bed hospital that includes general surgery, cardiology, cardiac surgery, neurosurgery, women’s care, weight loss surgery, cancer treatment, including radiation and chemotherapy.

The hospital is the only Level II Trauma hospital in the region, complemented by a newly redesigned Emergency Department. St. Pat’s provides inpatient psychiatric treatment and outpatient and partial hospitalization in adolescent addiction treatment services.  It has been serving the needs of western Montana since 1873 when it was opened by the Sisters of Providence.

About the Western Montana Region

The Western Montana Region of Providence Health & Services consists of St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson and a medical group of 32 physician clinics. Together, these facilities provide a high-level of comprehensive medical care throughout western Montana and northern Idaho, including Missoula and Lake Counties. 

About Providence Health & Services


Providence Health & Services is a not-for-profit Catholic health care ministry committed to providing for the needs of the communities it serves – especially the poor and vulnerable. Providence’s comprehensive scope of services includes 28 hospitals, numerous non-acute care facilities and physician clinics, a health plan, a liberal arts university, a high school, 53,000 employees and many other health, housing and educational services. The health system spans five states – Alaska, California, Montana, Oregon and Washington – with its system office located in Renton, Washington. Providence Health & Services continues a tradition of caring that the Sisters of Providence began more than 155 years ago. 

Providence Health & Services (PH&S) is implementing the full suite of Epic inpatient and ambulatory solutions across its hospitals and clinics.  As part of the Epic initiative, PH&S established Community Connect to offer affiliated physicians and hospitals Epic solutions with the goal of connecting care teams and patients through an integrated patient electronic health care record across the PH&S community of care.

About Epic

Epic is widely recognized as a leader in the health care information technology (IT) industry.  Its products regularly receive high ratings in independent industry surveys measuring customer satisfaction in product functionality.  KLAS’ 2009 and 2010 Top 20 Best in KLAS Report rated Epic as the #1 overall software vendor based on 40 separate performance measures. It is estimated that more than 205,000 doctors nationwide are already using Epic’s fully-implemented EHR product and over 150 million Americans have a medical record on the Epic EHR.