Epic CEO Judy Faulkner: No ‘Magic Wand’ For Improving Healthcare

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folks raised their hands.”

She was “delighted” that a few in the audience had heard of it, but the anecdote highlighted the challenge Epic and its users face as more new features are rolled out year after year.

Apart from the lost productivity and frustration users experience as they adjust their workflows to new features, this can lead to duplicated costs. Faulkner cited instances of hospital leaders approving the purchase of a software product that does the same thing as an Epic product they’re already paying for.

“Folks, do you know what you bought from us?” she asked, rhetorically. “Before you purchase something, check out [a pamphlet that Epic provides to its clients] to see if you might already have it.”

That was just one of several things Faulkner suggested people add to the to-do lists Epic had provided to UGM attendees ahead of time.

Faulkner touched on other hot issues in the healthcare IT industry, including population health and interoperability. She said that Epic’s Care Everywhere application is used to exchange about 2 million patient records each day with Epic and non-Epic health systems. That’s about double Care Everywhere’s daily records-exchange rate a year ago, she said.

Epic plans to add new features to Care Everywhere soon, Faulkner said. For instance, if a patient’s primary health system sees in her Epic record that she’s not up to date on immunizations, the software would be able to check to see if she received immunizations at another organization that uses Epic’s software, and merge that information into her record. The company is also working to configure Care Everywhere to be able to check if a patient has already had certain types of imaging work done, to avoid duplicate procedures.

There are also new interoperability-focused features that Epic is working on but keeping mum about for now, Faulkner said.

Care Everywhere and Share Everywhere—a tool Epic recently unveiled that allows a user to share his health records with a physician who documents information on paper or using software that isn’t able to receive data from the patient’s regular care provider—will both “do more over time,” Faulkner said. “Stay tuned.”

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