There are many reasons why organizations buy Epic EMR. It is really a two-part decision:
- First, the need for a new EMR, and
- Second is why to buy Epic versus other systems.
Why an Epic Implementation?
Epic is typically more expensive than its’ competitors, which means it must offer greater value to justify that extra cost. One can hypothesize that healthcare entities that purchase Epic, or any other EMR, want to be leaders in their market. The strategy to purchase a new EMR from Epic and then undergo an extensive Epic implementation is fundamentally the same as it has always been; but, recent developments in healthcare reform and cost drivers demand some changes in how we buy, implement, and use EMRs.
Staying focused in an Epic implementation
While implementation itself isn’t necessarily considered a big strategic step, there are things to be considered that may not have been on the radar. For example, the first step we take at Orchestrate Healthcare, when performing an Epic implementation, is considering what the focal point of the implementation should be. With the large quantity of activities that go on with any EMR implementation or upgrade, the issue for the project manager and project team is not avoidance of distractions, because there will be many, it is the need for absolute focus on the parts that matter most. Distractions can hurt your timeline; a lack of focus on the right things can eliminate the strategic advantage you designed into the project in the first place.
If clinical documentation is the most important outcome in the EMR implementation, then the focus of all the elements to make that a success is very important. We find that in the many Epic installs we have done, the focus tends to depend on the skills of the IT involved in that implementation. Case in point, if the focus needs to be on revenue cycle and the organization only has people with skills in Optime, or Beaker, skill or staff augmentation needs to happen to support making revenue cycle a priority. Without this support, often organizations experience:
- alienated users
- false starts
- problems down the line when least expected
- and worst case, an outright fail and the need to start again
Well-focused EMR implementations should be completed in a time frame equal-to or better-than average; and in many cases they are not.
Change in Approach Needed to Deliver Implementation Outcomes
Applying focus to an implementation is a different strategic approach than we have seen in the past, and along with it we have to change our strategy on what implementation really is. For many years, it has been about what needs to be done. Today, getting value for the dollars spent in healthcare IT depends as much on the “how” and “who” is involved in the process as the “what”. Most hospital systems today either have enough experience, or can easily retain people, to do the task at hand. The “what”can be managed, it is the important “how” and “who” that require more in-depth knowledge.
Identifying accurately “who” the constituents are that most need to accept the system and then “how” do we make sure they are getting what they need; this is where an advanced Epic implementation team delivers the outcomes needed. An example of this advanced approach is how we can assist our customers with report writing following an Epic implementation. Reports aren’t necessarily designed ahead of time, but they are in many cases the key to getting real results. Identifying the problem and designing solutions is one of the main reasons EMRs are purchased in the first place. Documenting care, reducing costs, and improving quality come from knowing what is going on within an organization, and that comes from reporting. The “who” and the “how” of reporting, any other strategic issues to be understood and designed into the implementation, are planned for upfront.
Orchestrate Healthcare is an award-winning KLAS top performer. We can show you “how” and “why” KLAS ratings make such a difference in your decision. It’s not simply an implementation of a product that cost tens of millions of dollars, we see it as the strategic continuation of why the purchase decision was made in the first place.