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The EHR movement has formed a type of frenzy in the health system, where Epic is a hugely popular choice among the care providers. Founded in 1979 in a basement by computer programmer Judy Faulkner, Epic develops, manufactures, supports, licenses, and sells a proprietary electronic medical record software application, known in whole as ‘Epic’ or an Epic EMR/EHR. The company’s products are used at community hospitals, academic medical centers, children’s organizations, safety net providers, retail clinics, multispecialty groups, integrated delivery networks, rehab centers, and patients’ homes as well as in many other settings. Epic EMR/EHR is the preferred EMR system used by more than 250 health care organizations across the U.S. To date, 45 percent of the country’s population has their medical records in an Epic system.
Epic is the perfect one-stop-shop for providers looking for an EMR system that meets the federal requirements. It has great features that offer an integrated suite of healthcare software centered on its Chronicles database management system. Its applications support functions related to patient care, which includes clinical systems for doctors, nurses, emergency personnel, and other care providers; registration and scheduling; systems for lab technologists, pharmacists, and radiologists; and billing systems for insurers.
A true innovator in the EHR arena, Epic Systems enables for a single chart to follow patients throughout the multiple areas in which they receive care, which includes Ambulatory clinics at the East Baltimore campus, Five Johns Hopkins area hospitals, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, All Johns Hopkins Community Physicians locations, Emergency Departments at the five hospitals, and Ambulatory surgery areas. “Like the ‘Iliad’ or the ‘Odyssey,’ our EHR chronicles the story of a patient’s healthcare over time,” states Judy Faulkner, Founder and CEO, Epic Systems.
Epic Systems’ offerings integrate across a variety of settings and functions. Some of the company’s prominent products and services include EpicCare, MyChart, Healthy Planet, Revenue cycle management software, Tapestry, Care Everywhere, and Mobile Interfaces.
EpicCare, the core EHR product, is designed for physicians and organizations, focusing on clinical care, decision support, and streamlined processes. It delivers safe and high-quality care; its predictive analytics and embedded decision support tools help the clinical practice to yield better outcomes. With the help of EpicCare, physicians can streamline everyday tasks to get the job done fast as the mobile apps keep them connected wherever they go.
A true innovator in the EHR arena, Epic Systems allows for one chart to follow patients throughout the multiple areas in which they receive care
Epic Systems’ Healthy Planet leverages data interoperability to boost population health management efforts. It enables physicians to coordinate care across a community of providers. With Healthy Planet, care providers can bring in data from any standards-based EHR or compatible data source. The product enables them to create a single longitudinal plan of care accessible to patients, providers, care managers, and affiliates. It also gives external providers tools to review and resolve care gaps through a web-based care management portal. The other key benefits that Healthy Planet offers is it helps in engaging patients by providing access to health and wellness information. Care providers can also drive results through advanced analytics and machine learning and use claims-based analytics to manage spends and trends better.
While Epic Systems’ Revenue Cycle Software deeply engages with patients, maximizes revenue, and protect their payments. It automates revenue and coding from clinical activity to diminish administrative overhead, avoid missing charges, and increase total revenue. In addition, Revenue Cycle Software also encourages the most clinically effective and cost-efficient treatments with integrated clinical and financial decision support.
The company’s Tapestry deals with managed care activities. It offers integrated insurance operations support from enrollment through utilization management and adjudication. The module enables direct connections to government systems to help users successfully enroll, manage risk, and meet requirements for Medicare Advantage and Marketplace plans. Epic Systems’ Care Everywhere provides seamless interoperability. With care Everywhere, providers can share charts for care transitions with any organization that uses standards, no matter which EHR they use.The company’s mobile interfaces include Haiku for smartphones, Canto for tablets, and Limerick for the Apple Watch to assist patients’ care through mobile devices. Whereas, Epic Systems’ latest scaled-down EHR, known as Sonnet is designed for smaller to mid-sized hospitals, post-acute care facilities, critical access hospitals, physician practices, and long-term care facilities that either do not need all of the functionality of a full version EHR or do not have the funds or the resources required to implement the full version.
In addition to these, Epic Systems also offers Sonnet, a slimmer version of the Epic EHR. Launched in March 2018 at HIMSS18, Sonnet has fewer modules and a reduced feature scope that provides the advantages of a robust, integrated EHR at a lower price point.
Helping Care Providers and Patients around the World
Not just in the U.S., approximately 190 million people across the world use Epic Systems’ technology. Recently, Epic Systems earned the title of best overall software suite and tops among physician practices for the ninth-straight year. Nine is also the number of Best in KLAS awards Epic received in the latest annual rankings of the U.S. healthcare market.
The honorary has been given to the company because of the high levels of satisfaction with Epic and its products as according to the respondents. The company’s close competitors include Cerner, MEDITECH, Allscripts, athenahealth, and units of IBM, McKesson, Siemens, and G.E. Healthcare.
Due to its perseverance, Epic Systems is quite popular among healthcare organizations. Some of the biggest names in healthcare are the company’s clients, like The Mount Sinai Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Cedars- Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Yale–New Haven Hospital, multiple campuses of the Mayo Clinic, and many more.
One such client is Sanford Health. When Sanford found out that colorectal cancer is the second-largest cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S., it implemented real-time reminders in Epic to make sure that the disease is diagnosed on time and treated. The implementation also helped care teams in ordering screenings for their overdue patients during the current visit, which resulted in a 13 percent increase in colorectal cancer screenings over two years.
Besides, Sanford Health was able to provide patients with the option of selecting their preferred screening method, such as a sample collection kit to take home or colonoscopy that made them feel more comfortable while receiving preventive care. Care providers also follow up with vulnerable patients using their preferred communication methods, such as phone calls or MyChart messages.
Another satisfied client of Epic Systems is Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta, focusing on zero patient harm by 2026. To achieve that goal, Piedmont Healthcare selected Epic to identify and intervene when patients are at higher risk of infection and successfully reduced hospital-acquired infection rates by more than half in less than two years. From 2016 to 2018, infection rates decreased by 65 percent for CAUTI, 46 percent for C. Diff, and 38 percent for MRSA, with an overall reduction rate of 58 percent system-wide.
The Road Ahead
Many have speculated that Apple would soon acquire Epic Systems. But they were proved wrong as Faulkner, the 75-year-old Forbes’ 2018 third-richest self-made woman in America, was not in the mood to consider any buyout offer from the tech giant. On the other hand, Faulkner is more focused on her “groundbreaking” big data goals for healthcare.
In addition, attacking the overgrown jungle of administrative processes is also on Epic Systems’ agenda. At the top of the list is getting rid of prior authorizations (P.A.s), a process that is nearly universally reviled by physicians. According to a survey done by the American Medical Association, 91 percent of physicians believe P.A.s harm outcomes, especially by diverting resources away from patients, delaying care, and even contributing directly to mortality. Epic Systems is with payers and providers to do away with preauthorization. The company is starting with certain specialties where the burden is especially high, like oncology, “but we plan to move through all the specialties as quickly as we can,” concludes Faulkner.