History of ICIS

In the 1970’s the healthcare industry was being introduced to electronic medical record systems. NYUMC leadership recognized the need to manage the ever increasing amount of information generated in caring for patients and was convinced that computers would assist the clinicians in this. They started their search for a suitable system to replace paper files and forms. A group of NYUMC clinicians and administrators visited various hospitals throughout the country that already had begun the conversion from paper to computer to evaluate their systems. After a 10-year search, the system that met all of the Medical Center’s needs was found. In September of 1979, a contract was signed with Technicon Data System Inc. for their E4000 system. This highly integrated system, considered state-of-the-art at that time, was chosen for its speed (within 3 seconds) at processing and communicating orders to various departments throughout the medical center. E4000 became known as the Hospital Information System (HIS).

By January of 1980, a project team comprised of clinicians and technical experts was formed to build HIS. This team would be responsible for working with the vendor to configure, maintain and support the new system. The team went through intensive training in order to develop all of the necessary components (such as admitting, registration, orders, tests, formulary drugs, medication administration, and more) to fit the Medical Center’s needs. Every Nursing Unit and ancillary department including the hospital’s mail room was cabled in order to accommodate the roll-out of hardware, printers and terminals in preparation for the HIS go-live.


The first nursing unit went live in 1981, along with more than 20 other departments. Every two to four weeks thereafter, another unit was brought up in HIS, and by the spring of 1982, the whole hospital was computerized. In all, 4,000 users were trained, 10,000 screens had been created or modified, and 175 terminals with light-pens were spread throughout the Medical Center allowing physicians to access data and enter orders from any location within the building. NYUMC became the first healthcare institution in the country to have 100% computerized physician order entry.

In 1990, The Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine went live in HIS with order entry and its highly customized rehab documentation for nursing and therapy departments.

In 1995, the Hospital for Joint Diseases went live in HIS for both inpatients and outpatients supporting order entry, tests results and some documentation.
HIS was established as the backbone for all clinical transactions in the Medical Center, and it served the institution well for more than two decades. As advancements were made in technology and healthcare, expectations were raised for system capabilities, particularly with regard to the ability to provide clinicians with advanced decision support. NYUMC again went on a search to upgrade to a more robust, Windows-based clinical system. In 2003, after an exhaustive review of four different systems, the clinicians voted on the system of choice, and the new Eclipsys Sunrise Clinical Manager (SCM), known by clinicians as the Integrated Clinical Information System (ICIS), was purchased. The HIS Department staff was trained on the new system and began the complex process of converting the hospital from HIS to the new system, while concurrently maintaining existing operations in HIS. By this time, HIS had developed over 700 reports, 130 physician order sets, 55,000 screens, and a list of more than 10,000 trained users over the course of 20 years.

In September of 2004, ICIS went live with Phase One of the implementation. This included single-sign-on (allowing access to multiple application with a single login), patient lists and results. Over a two year period, over 7,000 users were trained for these functions in ICIS. In October 2005, the ED Manager went live in the Emergency Department for patient lists, results, patient tracking and the electronic triage note.

In March of 2007, ICIS went live with order entry, nursing documentation, flowsheets, electronic medication administration record and pharmacy medication management. Converting users from HIS to ICIS involved 24/7 training for over 5,500 users in eight weeks. The ICIS implementation also involved deploying over 300 new desktops, computers-on-wheels and wall mounted workstations to support the growing number of ICIS users and system functionality.

From March of 2007 to the present, the ICIS team has developed and implemented clinical documentation for physicians, (including progress notes and H&Ps), rehab specialists (including documentation of all inpatient care), nursing, and other groups. The ICIS Department has many projects planned to meet its objective of enabling world-class performance in patient care, education, and research through insight into the needs of our customers and excellence in service delivery.

To view our entire Vision Statement, click here.
To view a list of our Current Projects, click here.
To view a list of our Future Projects, click here.