Most of hear a lot (for some of us, way too much) about the coolness of Epic Systems’ sprawling 800-acre campus in Madison, WI. You know, it has a treehouse for meetings, a Cat in the Hat statute in one of its atria, and a giant slide popular with staffers and visitors alike.
But the really interesting data is the hard, cold numbers describing the growth of the Wisconsin software giant. Here’s one passage from a new feature on Epic running this week in the New York Times.
According to the Times piece, Epic was a smallish company until 2003, when Kaiser Permanente chose its EMR for its 36 hospitals. Kaiser expects to spend $4 billion on the software, equipment and training by the time it’s done. You can definitely call that a jumpstart.
Want more? Here’s how the paper describes Epic today:
Epic has been adding other large customers, for a total of 260, including 35 new contracts last year. All told, it says, its systems will cover 127 million patients with active electronic health records by July 2013. It now has 5,100 employees; to handle all that growth, it plans to hire 1,000 more people this year. <…>
As a privately held, employee-owned company, Epic does not issue profit statements. Its revenue for 2011 is expected to come in at nearly $1.2 billion, a 45 percent increase over the previous year, the company says.
Without a doubt, this is all very impressive. If I were CEO Judith Faulkner, I’d be proud as heck that I managed to make all of this happen, especially since the company started more than 30 years ago in the proverbial basement.
I’ve got to admit, though, that I found the article to be a bit on the worshipful side. Sure, everybody loves a success story, and it’s hard to argue this is a fine example. On the other hand, it does little to hint at the company’s imperial attitude, dated technology, high-handed approach to business relationships and refusal to abandon its walled garden.
Let’s see the Times’ crack business reporters take a look at Epic. I suspect the article would be a lot more critical, and a lot more fun too…