CHICAGO The state has denied a protest filed by a major software company over a multimillion-dollar contract granted to a rival firm for a new electronic records system at the University of Illinois medical center in Chicago.Cerner Corp. filed a protest with the state’s Chief Procurement Office for Higher Education over the $62 million, seven-year contract awarded Sept. 7 to Epic Systems Corp., claiming the bidding process was unfair and tainted by a possible conflict of interest.The Integrated Information Infrastructure project, or “3i,” will update and unify the 20-year-old electronic medical records and billing systems at UI Health.The state’s Jan. 12 ruling clears the way for the university to move ahead with the project, but the protest pushed the schedule back about three months, Mike Zenn, chief financial officer for UI Health, told UI trustees Wednesday.

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