Brightwork Health IT Helps Summa Health Transform Its Relationship With Electronic Health Record Vendor Epic

Brightwork’s assistance aims to drive operational efficiency and patient experience improvements for Summa Health

Brightwork Health IT (Brightwork), an IT consultancy that helps healthcare organizations with large-scale IT implementations, digital transformation initiatives, and technical resources, announced today that its work to transform Summa Health’s utilization of the Epic health record system has been completed. This implementation enables Summa to create a single, unified health record for each patient so that physicians and other providers can access one comprehensive health profile.

“We are excited to celebrate this significant milestone with our partners at Summa Health and look forward to the many benefits this new system will bring to both patients and providers,” said Shannan Epps, Founder, and CEO of Brightwork Health IT. “A digital transformation initiative of this size and scope would not have been possible without so many dedicated and talented technologists and project managers working together. Everyone on the project should be very proud.” 

The new implementation was a massive effort that involved 65 Brightwork staff members and 95 Summa Health Epic project team members. And despite the scale of the project, it only took the team 14 months to complete, in which they configured over 14,000 tasks, tested hundreds of test scripts, trained over 10,000 healthcare workers, and converted important patient legacy data. As context, large-scale Epic implementations can take as long as two years.  

“At Summa Health, we are committed to delivering the best patient and provider experience possible,” said Elbridge Locklear, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Summa Health. “To help deliver on that, we turned to the team at Brightwork Health IT to assist in the deployment of our own fully integrated clinical and financial operations technology platform. Applying this new technology will dramatically enhance our patient and provider experience while increasing operational efficiencies that lead to lower costs.” 

As part of its work, Brightwork performed an initial analysis to determine whether Summa Health should continue the Community Connect model or engage Epic directly. The Brightwork team executed a financial and impact analysis of the state of the organization and anticipated outcomes of each course of action. The result was a decision to move Summa to its own instance of Epic. Brightwork then designed and implemented Summa Health’s Epic instance using the software vendor’s recommended Foundation Model and other industry best practices in project management, organizational change management, and large-scale systems implementation. 

The rigorous approach led to a successful transformation, enabling the hospital system to integrate its payment, patient care planning, and reimbursement with multiple payers. This will help further reduce the cost of care for Summa Health and its patients. While quantifiable results are on the horizon, projected benefits include an improved patient and provider experience, streamlined operational efficiency, and greater agility in delivering quality healthcare in the digital era.

Launched in 2017, Brightwork is a trusted healthcare consultancy and premier Epic implementation partner. With an eye on optimizing technologies, modernizing workflows, and transforming infrastructure, Brightwork illuminates the path forward and ensures organizations are ready for the right now—and for all that comes next. SPARC Academy is the first of several new products the firm has in its queue. Brightwork’s customers include Kaiser Permanente, Summa Health, Pacific Medical Centers, Multicare, and SE Alaska Regional Health Consortium.

To learn more about Brightwork Health IT, visit

Summa Health is headquartered in Akron, Ohio, and has four hospital campuses, 15 medical centers (including two stand-alone ERs and an ASC), and five urgent care centers. The Summa Health Medical Group (SHMG) comprises nearly 500 employed providers, as part of a medical staff of more than 1,200. 

To learn more about Summa Health, visit

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