Epic CEO Judy Faulkner on 'yes, if' strategy behind company's culture, success

Judy Faulkner, Epic founder and CEO, discussed the culture she has spearheaded at the EHR company and why she values a "yes, if" approach to strategy during The Cap Times Idea Fest Sept. 14 in Madison, Wis., according to The Cap Times.

Ms. Faulkner has built Epic's culture off a myriad of ideas, including approaching problems as projects and fostering a "yes, if" approach in place of a "no, because" mentality. To her nearly 10,000 employees, she also promotes the following mantra: "Have fun, do good and make money," the publication reports.

Epic began as Ms. Faulkner's brainchild as part of her work on an electronic health records system project while pursuing her master's degree in computer science at University of Wisconsin-Madison, according to the report. She then launched the company as a small business in 1979. Forty years later, Ms. Faulkner said Epic's success lies upon her initial decision to "put the patient at the center, and all the data around the patient."

Ms. Faulkner also credited her background as a programmer as a critical component of Epic's success. A differentiation from the EHR vendor's competitors, which Ms. Faulkner said all comprise male executives with business and economic degrees.

"I'm a techie. And that's the key difference," Ms. Faulkner said. "Those guys were taught things like go public, make mergers and acquisitions. What was I taught? How to program."

Epic focuses on avoiding what Ms. Faulkner refers to as "symptoms of corporate decline," including "increased bureaucracy, too much focus on legal matters and finance, and an acceptance of mediocrity," according to the report.

Last month during Epic's User Group annual meeting, Ms. Faulkner revealed several initiatives Epic is currently working on, such as the company's new de-identified patient data research program Cosmos as well as a voice recognition software for EHRs.

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