Cooley Dickinson's 'Epic' Overhaul Of Patient Record Keeping

Nov 8, 2017

Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Massachusetts, has just launched a major software transition, requiring hundreds of employees to change the way they record and read patient information.

Partners Health Care -- which owns Cooley Dickinson and other hospitals -- spent $1.2 billion on a computer system called Epic to make patient records more uniform.

When Epic went live at Massachusetts General Hospital last year, The Boston Globe reported widespread aggravation.

But Cooley Dickinson representatives said they spent two months training staff so disruption would be minimal.

That said, administrator Robb Levine acknowledged some frustration and patient delays.

"Any project with this degree of change and uprooting people's comfort and workflows they may have been doing for a long time," Levine said, "when you ask them to rethink and do that a little bit differently, that can be a challenge."

The hospital's CFO said that while the transition has gone smoothly, some doctors reduced their patient load so they could learn the new software. She said lost productivity and new training has cost about $12 million.