Epic CEO Judy Faulkner's 5 predictions for healthcare post-pandemic

Epic CEO Judy Faulkner made five key predictions about healthcare during an interview with Business Insider.

1. Ms. Faulkner expects more smaller providers will face extreme financial distress and bankruptcy due to the canceled elective surgeries and appointments due to COVID-19. The lost revenue will affect the staffing levels, capital expenditures and operating expenditures in the future, she said, noting that many Epic customers reported 35 percent to 55 percent revenue declines this year.

2. There will be more mergers and acquisitions due to the financial strain the pandemic placed on healthcare providers, Ms. Faulkner conjectured. When organizations consolidate, typically the smaller provider moves onto the larger provider's EHR platform, which bodes well for Epic; in 2018, all of the U.S. News & World Report's 20 top hospitals used Epic. However, with the new interoperability rules taking effect in the coming months, it will be easier for health systems to interoperate without switching systems.

3. Digital health has become more mainstream, and Epic reported between 50 and 100 times more video visits since the pandemic began, according to Ms. Faulkner. She also expects more remote patient monitoring from home.

4. Data definitions are a big problem, Ms. Faulkner said. Health systems are defining data differently, which makes it impossible to aggregate. Ms. Faulkner sees the potential for more data standardization efforts and a focus on public health surveillance as a lasting legacy of the pandemic. She noted some lawmakers use Epic data to decide when to reopen economies or make other public health decisions.

5. IT deployments at health systems will become more efficient due to the pandemic, Ms. Faulkner thinks. During the pandemic, her team worked with providers to redesign the deployment system to make it virtual and do the install in three days.

More articles on health IT:
20 bold predictions for health IT in the next 5 years
5 things to know about Epic's Cosmos
Data-sharing lawsuit against U of Chicago Medical Center, Google dismissed

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