M Health Fairview: Verato UMPI supports a swift response to COVID-19

M Health Fairview:  Verato UMPI supports a swift response to COVID-19

When COVID-19 began to appear in Minnesota, M Health Fairview created a dedicated, equipped hospital for patients fighting the virus—all in just 72 hours. A technology challenge quickly surfaced when legacy EHR systems didn’t communicate. But M Health Fairview had a key advantage: an existing relationship with Verato, a foundational element for connected health.

Transforming a hospital

As of March 20, M Health Fairview Bethesda Hospital was a 50-bed facility providing long-term, acute care. The health system’s team worked day and night to transform the hospital, adding 35 intensive care beds and ventilators and expanding the total number of beds to 90. In less than a week, the facility became Minnesota’s first hospital dedicated to treating people with severe cases of COVID-19[1].

Disconnected EHRs create a burden

Bethesda Hospital relied on a legacy version of the electronic health record (EHR) system, due to be phased out. Given the crisis situation, the health system technology team didn’t have time to switch the hospital to the EHR in use at other Fairview hospitals.

When a patient transferred to Bethesda Hospital from one of the other M Health Fairview hospitals, historical records couldn’t be accessed in the EHR. As a result, care teams would have limited information. Key facts, such as the COVID test result, vital signs, lab test results, x-rays, patient family medical histories, date of admission, or medical history from prior visits, could be split between the two EHRs.  The care team was struggling to see the whole picture for the patient and had to manually merge or copy records between the two systems.

Strategy and agility to the rescue

Prior to the pandemic, M Health Fairview had been working with Verato on an innovative, enterprise data strategy. The healthcare organization had planned for a mid-March go-live that would connect data from several Epic EHR systems, dating from a previous merger. The unified person data layer would also support a wide variety analytics.

The original Verato go-live was put on hold while the organization focused on combatting the pandemic. As the new Bethesda Hospital team began caring for patients with COVID, the team realized that they needed connected patient records—immediately. Verato UMPI could bridge M Health Fairview’s disparate EHR systems.

When M Health Fairview contacted Verato, we were able to complete a go-live of Verato UMPI within 24 hours, supporting the urgent patient care needs at Bethesda Hospital.

Unique capabilities for connected care

Verato UMPI uniquely enables a crosswalk that connects the Medical Record Number (MRN) between Bethesda’s EHR and the systems in place at other M Health Fairview hospitals. As a result, the Bethesda team can access each patient’s complete record within the M Health Fairview system and make more informed decisions.

Essential care relies on essential technology, and Verato will do all we can to support M Health Fairview and all our customers as they care for patients during the pandemic.


[1] https://www.mhealth.org/blog/2020/march-2020/m-health-fairview-converts-bethesda-hospital-into-dedicated-covid-19-facility