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Clark Fork Valley Hospital to Implement Epic

August 30, 2012

Clark Fork Valley Hospital 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 healthcare industry. Program implementation will take place in 2013.

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 EHR for each patient. Currently separate records such as medical history, medications, treatment records and test results (most still maintained on paper) will be integrated in the Epic EHR. This will provide the facilities access to all the clinical information they need at the time and place they need it to maximize efficiency and provide an integrated care experience. It will speed up referrals between physicians in the region and enable immediate access to essential patient information.

A secure EHR shared and accessed by many hospitals and providers means Clark Fork Valley Hospital and St. Patrick Hospital will be able to provide higher quality, safer and more personalized healthcare. For example, if a patient is treated at Clark Fork Valley Hospital and needs to be transferred to St. Patrick Hospital, the patient’s medical record will already be available to St. Pat’s treating physician. 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 Plains or Missoula.

Patients will also be able to access their health record through the MyChart patient portal, allowing patients broader participation in their care.  PH&S has over 40,000 patients utilizing the MyChart patient portal, and the community will find the tool valuable for reviewing their results, requesting clinic appointments, messaging their provider, and many more features.

Through the arrangement, St. Patrick Hospital will provide training and support to Clark Fork Valley Hospital. . Clark Fork Valley Hospital will benefit from processes already built into the software through an extensive software build process established by PH&S, a non-profit ministry of hospitals and clinics, of which St. Pat’s is a member.

Clark Fork Valley Hospital will join several other healthcare facilities in western Montana transitioning to the Providence Build of Epic. These facilities include Deer Lodge Medical Center, over 40 Providence Medical Group clinics, St. Patrick Hospital and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center. With the addition of Clark Fork Valley Hospital, the Providence Build of the Epic EHR will have a network footprint spanning clinics and hospitals from Plains and Polson, east to Great Falls and as far south as Hamilton.  Each clinic healthcare facility within the network will have virtually instantaneous access to the same medical records.


About Clark Fork Valley Hospital



Located in Whitehorse Plains, Montana, Clark Fork Valley Hospital and Family Medicine Network is a not-for-profit community healthcare organization providing services to patients since 1971. Clark Fork Valley Hospital is a 16-bed Critical Access facility serving the residents of Sanders County and the surrounding area.


About St. Patrick Hospital



St. Patrick Hospital is a not-for-profit 253-bed hospital including 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 adolescent addiction treatment services. It has  served 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 PH&S 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 (PH&S) 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. PH&S continues a tradition of caring that the Sisters of Providence began more than 155 years ago. 

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.  It is estimated 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.