Our Journey
“It’s like the space shuttle. It takes enormous energy to move it the first 10 feet.”
— O’Neil Britton, MD

From the beginning, Partners eCare marked a significant milestone in the history of Partners HealthCare — in both size and scope. At its core, the project would require the entire Partners organization and its affiliates to come together to define our shared vision of coordinated, seamless patient care. The Epic electronic health record (EHR) would serve as the integrated platform, replacing hundreds of decentralized clinical and revenue cycle applications and systems — and in many cases, replacing patient information still
maintained on paper.

Partners eCare has not been an easy journey; but its deep exploration of our complex organization has uncovered areas for improved coordination of care. Over the past five years, thousands of clinicians, staff, implementation partners and a dedicated Partners eCare team have committed to launching Partners eCare off the ground. Today, as we move toward orbit, we keep in sight the goal of leveraging this platform to support our vision for delivering superior care; leading research discoveries; investing in education and training; and ultimately, shaping the future of health care.


An Integrated EHR on an Ambitious 5-Year Timeline

Partners eCare was never just an IT project; it was a pledge to change the way over 70,000 employees pursue our mission and improve the way more than three million patients receive care. The ambitious timeline and scope of the largest strategic project in Partners history included development of the Partners version of Epic, and integration of clinical and revenue cycle functions at more than 25 hospitals, organizations and physician practice groups.


More than 3,000 Subject Matter Experts Weigh In

To design Partners eCare, more than 3,000 subject matter experts participated in more than 50 enterprise validation sessions, providing input on clinical and administrative workflows and best practices. From there, 316 subcommittees reviewed 258 flow sheets, 154 order sets, 169 plans of care, 255 SmartForms, 613 oncology protocols, 7,104 procedures and 5,480 medications – alongside 15 integrated workgroups assessing everything from data conversion to security settings in Epic.


The First Glimpse — And Go-Live

During the Enterprise Premiere, more than 2,000 clinicians, administrative professionals, leaders and patient representatives gathered to witness the unveiling of the new Partners eCare system.
With the Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital revenue cycle go-lives, over 11,000 users began using Epic revenue cycle applications for patient billing, scheduling and registration.


“The Most Valuable Lessons Cannot Be Taught”

Applying feedback from the Newton-Wellesley Ambulatory Services early adopter go-live, more than 23,000 clinicians and staff from Brigham Health (BH), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and Partners HealthCare at Home joined Partners eCare — bringing to life nearly three years of decision-making, application build, system and biomedical integration, manual and automated conversion, security and access, hardware mapping, operational and organizational readiness, testing and training. The first large-scale go-live was not without challenges, but work by thousands of staff helped resolve application and workflow issues and establish support functions.


Partners eCare Grows to 58,000 — Takes First Upgrade

Building on lessons learned from the first large-scale go-live, Massachusetts General Hospital, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Massachusetts Eye & Ear and multiple waves of Massachusetts General Physicians Organization practices joined Partners eCare. Following go-live, roughly 85% of Partners patient transactions involved Epic. In October, an Epic upgrade brought over 2,300 updates to the Partners build, including improved functionality and enhancements to the system look and feel. BH and DFCI also adopted Epic’s radiology application to further expand capabilities and improve coordination of care.


Rapid Deployment across Massachusetts

Despite most clinicians and staff using Epic by 2017, Partners eCare embarked on a record year of implementations at hospitals and practices spanning from Northampton, MA, to Cape Cod and the Islands. North Shore Medical Center, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Nantucket Cottage Hospital, McLean Hospital, Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network and dozens of physician practices supported by the Partners Community Physicians Organization will round out the original five-year project timeline, culminating in more than 70,000 clinicians and staff using Partners eCare.

Projected data as of October 2017
And Beyond

 Our Patients

Devoting Ourselves to Patient Care: The work of Partners eCare — from simplified Epic functionality to enhanced patient access, from device integration to streamlined quality reporting — is at the core of the coordinated care clinicians and staff provide to millions of patients across Partners.


Driving Precision Medicine: Partners eCare supports the Partners Biobank, a repository of consented patient samples and data linked to health information and family history data, which researchers are using to understand how people's health is affected by their genes, lifestyle and environment.


Expanding Support Beyond 70,000 Users: Partners eCare will continue to implement the Partners version of Epic at interested hospitals, practices and affiliates, increasing the number of clinicians, staff and patients supported by the program.


Investing in the Next Generation of Leaders: Each year, over 1,000 new residents and fellows join Partners to continue their medical education. Partners eCare facilitates hospital administrators as they process and schedule these new doctors, and supports the efforts of all Partners physicians who drive our commitment to teaching and carry forward lessons learned.



Growth and Efficiency

Supporting Future Initiatives: The integrated EHR serves as the common platform to advance clinical and administrative best practices and support the efficacy, quality and safety of the care we provide. Partners eCare will underpin our efforts to address the opportunities and challenges facing health care, and Partners.



One Patient One Record One Team One Partners Statement