Minnesota Health Care Organizations Connect to Share Electronic Health Records

Nationwide Network Connects Records of 75 Percent of Minnesotans

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Eight of the largest health care organizations in Minnesota have successfully launched software that enables electronic sharing of patient records across the group – and with other network members nationwide. The network of interoperable systems allows for an estimated 75 percent of Minnesotans (3.6 million patients) to show up at any one of the organizations’ hospitals or clinics and have records from previous visits immediately available to doctors.

The eight health care organizations are members of the Minnesota Epic User Group (MNEUG). The organizations that are currently using the system are:

  • Allina Hospitals & Clinics
  • CentraCare Health System
  • Essentia Health
  • Fairview Health Services
  • HealthPartners Clinics and Regions Hospital
  • Hennepin County Medical Center
  • North Memorial Health Care
  • Sanford Health

CentraCare, North Memorial, and HCMC conducted a pilot program to test the system last winter, and the eight organizations went online in a phased rollout that we completed this summer. Altru Health System and Park Nicollet Health Services will join the EHR network within the year.

The organizations are able to share information through the Care Everywhere software and network, developed by their shared software vendor, Epic. Patients must consent to each connection between two organizations at each visit in accordance with applicable laws. Physicians report that the ability to access and share patient records quickly and securely enhances the quality and continuity of care for patients.

“As a primary care doctor at Hennepin County Medical Center, this has greatly improved the care I give to my patients,” said Dr. Kevin Larsen, CMIO, HCMC, and Minnesota Epic User Group Board Member. “When patients transfer their care to my clinic, or are seen at a hospital or ER in another health system on the network, I can quickly and easily get the information that used to take days or weeks to get from those other sites. This lets me provide much better follow up care. I think it will also reduce costs. With this instant access I don’t need to repeat tests that were done at other sites because I can get the results when I need them. My patients have been very pleased with this enhanced care coordination.”

Less than 2 percent of health care facilities nationally are using fully electronic health records, and only a handful are exchanging health information in this integrated manner -- highlighting the uniqueness of the collaboration in Minnesota.

Access to patient records in the system is secure and requires authorization. The foundational systems making this exchange possible are commonly referred to as EHRs or electronic medical records (EMRs), and can hold a wide variety of information including immunization records, blood type, lab results, X-rays, allergies, medical histories, current and past medications and dosages.

Physician members of the MNEUG have reported that record exchange:
Enhances quality and safety by reducing the chance for medical errors that occur when information is written down inaccurately or illegibly, or is not available to care providers in a timely manner.

  • Promotes efficiencies as physicians can quickly access patient care documents electronically right in the exam room, rather than ordering a repeat of that test or exam that may have been done recently at a partner facility.
  • Supports clinical decision-making by providing clinicians prompt access to comprehensive, “continuity of care” patient and clinical information when needed.

About The Minnesota Epic User Group
The Minnesota Epic User Group (MNEUG) focuses its non-profit educational mission on conveying information about medical technology standards, successes, and best practices particularly within Epic software products. The MNEUG has established 23 Special Interest Groups to promote education and information sharing across its 10 healthcare organizations, located in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.


For more information, contact the respective communications department within the healthcare organization.

Allina Health System   Altru Health System

David Kanihan

Dennis Reisnour

Director Allina Marketing and Communications

Administrative Director Corporate Development

[email protected]


[email protected]

CentraCare Health System Essentia Health

Jeanine Nistler

Kim Kaiser

Communications Director

Media Relations Specialist

[email protected]


[email protected]

Fairview Health Services HealthPartners, Regions Hospital

Cindy Fruitrail

Vince Rivard

Communications Director

Director of Communications

[email protected]


[email protected]

Hennepin County Medical Center North Memorial Health Care

Thomas D. Hayes

Robert Prevost, Manager

[email protected]

Public Relations



[email protected]

Park Nicollet Health Services Sanford Health

Jeremiah Whitten,

Stacy Jones

Director, Media Relations

[email protected]

[email protected]



Vince Rivard, 651-254-4730
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Minnesota

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Technology  Data Management  Software  Practice Management  Health  Hospitals  Professional Services  Insurance