Epic in the past 60 days: 10 updates

Epic has remained busy during the pandemic, partnering with health systems and other industry members to support relief efforts.

Here are nine updates from Epic in the past 60 days:

1. Epic launched a new platform for research and collaboration: the Epic Health Research Network. The network is a journal that includes medical information based on EHR data to support researchers and healthcare professionals. So far, the journal has released data on how race, comorbidities, smoking and obesity affect outcomes for COVID-19 patients. The data also showed that cancer screening rates have plummeted during the pandemic.

2. Epic has taken hold as the leader of the EHR market, holding 29 percent of the market at the end of 2019, according to a recent KLAS Research report. Its biggest competitor, Cerner, has 26 percent of the market. Last year Epic added 55 hospitals and 13,520 hospital beds while only losing 754 beds. By contrast, Cerner lost 12,662 beds from health systems switching to another vendor while only adding 3,418 of those beds back in new contracts.

3. Epic partnered with Cleveland Clinic to develop a home-monitoring program for COVID-19 patients. The partners use Epic's MyChart Care Companion to monitor patients with chronic conditions, and they customized it for COVID-19.

4. Both Stanford (Calif.) University and University of Michigan hospitals are using artificial intelligence developed by Epic to identify risk levels of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Epic's index uses machine learning to analyze patient data including vital signs and lab results to predict how likely patients are to need intensive care, which can help healthcare providers decide how to use resources in short supply.

5. Epic CEO Judy Faulkner discussed her predictions for how COVID-19 will affect healthcare delivery in an interview with Business Insider. She said that many of Epic's customers are reporting between 35 percent and 55 percent revenue declines, although several CIOs have also reported that they plan to move forward with their EHR implementations and updates. Ms. Faulkner also sees remote patient monitoring increasing and a trend toward health systems standardizing data definitions so regulators can access them more quickly in the future. Ms. Faulkner also mentioned that Epic may share patient data with the government in the future to help with health surveillance efforts.

6. Epic was the EHR partner for several field hospitals and temporary hospitals set up in large metropolitan areas to serve COVID-19 patients. Epic partnered with the New York Health Department and NYC Health+Hospitals to serve the field hospital at the Javits Center in New York City and collaborated with the Chicago Department of Public Health and Rush University Medical Center to deploy its EHR at the alternative care facility in McCormick Place.

7. Epic joined the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition, which includes providers such as Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic and Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare. Other companies involved include Amazon, Athentahealth, Salesforce and Microsoft. The coalition aims to bring together industry and healthcare providers to help flatten the COVID-19 curve.

8. During the pandemic, Epic waived fees for eight of its applications that allow hospitals and health systems to install them without extra costs. The company also waived charges for new patient sign-ups in MyChart during the pandemic.

9. Epic partnered with Twilio to embed the telehealth platform into its software. The telehealth solution is a web application hosted by Epic that will allow clinicians to launch a virtual visit with patients directly within the EHR.

10. In a May 12 interview with CNBC's Bertha Coombs, Ms. Faulkner outlined the five areas of focus during the pandemic, which include artificial intelligence technology and assisting in efforts to examine which medications are effective for COVID-19 treatment. The company is also participating in efforts to develop a smartphone marker that would report in real time whether the user has COVID-19 or not, but the company has not yet engaged in contact tracing. In the same interview, Ms. Faulkner claimed that Epic was the originator of interoperability.

More articles on EHR:
Switching EHRs may cause 'significant drop' in patient satisfaction levels, Mayo Clinic researchers say
How EHR vendors fared in Q1: Earnings from Allscripts, Cerner & Meditech
Will COVID-19 slow down EHR spend, implementation post-pandemic? Cerner doesn't think so

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