Walmart announced this week that it would begin using Epic’s electronic health record in its health centers, starting in Florida in early 2022.
Eventually, all of Walmart’s health and wellness lines of business will be supported by the Epic platform as it’s rolled out.
“The Epic system complements our omnichannel health care offerings – letting customers and healthcare professionals access care and health records to lead to more personalized care,” said Dr. Cheryl Pegus, executive vice president at Walmart Health and Wellness, in a statement.
WHY IT MATTERS
Walmart has been slowly opening health centers designed to deliver primary and urgent care, labs, x-ray and diagnostics, counseling, dental, optical and hearing services.
At this point, most of the clinics are open in Georgia, with one in Oklahoma and two in Illinois. Prices vary from location to location, with an annual adult checkup in Chicago costing double that of one in Dalton, Georgia.
As it continues to open facilities, Walmart says it will use Epic’s EHR to stay connected with patients, healthcare professionals, insurance carriers and other stakeholders.
It also aims to enhance communication, personalization and information sharing amongst healthcare professionals and patients who use the portal.
“Our vision to provide best-in-class health care, anywhere, anytime includes a seamless experience for our customers, health care professional partners and associates,” said Pegus.
“Leveraging best-in-class partners like Epic and [its] technology platform will assist us in providing a unified health record across care settings, geographies and multiple sources of health data,” she added.
The partnership comes on the heels of announcements earlier this week that Epic had made its vaccine credential technology available to 25 million patients.
“Across medical, dental and virtual care, patients will have a unified experience – both within Walmart Health clinics and as they move across the nation’s health care ecosystem. Providers will have new ways to collaborate with patients, payers and each other more effectively, so they can work cooperatively to manage a patient’s care journey,” said Alan Hutchison, vice president of population health at Epic.
THE LARGER TREND
Walmart continues to expand its foothold in healthcare, particularly in the virtual care space.
As with its retail giant competitor, Amazon, it has signaled plans to widen its telehealth offerings in dozens of states: Its medical group filed to do business in 37 as of mid-July.
Marcus Osborne, senior VP of Walmart Health, said earlier this year that he viewed the company’s telehealth offerings as ideally part of an omnichannel experience.
“As we think about telehealth it’s about recognizing – give people options, give people multiple pathways to engage care the way they want, and guess what they’ll do?” he said. “They’ll get care.”
ON THE RECORD
“We’re excited to power Walmart’s vision to bring comprehensive, accessible health care to patients across the country,” said Epic’s Hutchinson.
Kat Jercich is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.