EPIC Workflow Change Requirements

Katherine Rourke posted a pretty controversial post about EMR Workflow Changes over on EMR and HIPAA. The post has driven a lot of discussion in the comments of the post and on the various social media channels. Although, one comment from Chris Westcott caught my attention today:

This is a very interesting topic! It seems to me the proof is in the putting…. the most successful product, EPIC, generally forces a change in Clinical Workflow. I think this ridgid aspect of their product actually ends up being why they are so successful. What I hear in the market indicates that the more vendors try to adjust to fit various workflows, the less successful the install becomes (especially based on meaningful use metrics).

I have heard that Epic is pretty hard core when it comes to their workflows. Sure, every EHR vendor has plenty of configuration options, but some EHR develop more custom workflows than others. As such, Chris raises an interesting question about whether this rigidity in workflow is one of the reasons that Epic has been so successful.

One thing I’ve seen first hand is that too much massive software customization on the initial install usually leads to a long term pains. Once it’s time to upgrade the EHR software, you’ve usually forgotten all the unique customizations that you’ve made. In many cases, the person that implemented those customizations has left the hospital and so they are no longer there to remind users of the impact an EHR upgrade will have on those customizations.

What do you see? How much clinical workflow should be adjusted during an EHR implementation?

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference, EXPO.health, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.

1 Comment

  • Epic is successful because—and only because—they were the only vendor to offer the whole product at the exact time the government triggered the hypergrowth EMR market. Now they can continue to offer a burdensome first-gen dinosaur and the market will do everything it can to keep them on top. (Switching costs now being too high.) It’s a classic example of “tornado” market forces (Geoffrey Moore) and has nothing to do with their product, which is only marginally superior to the competition, but significantly more expensive.

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