Epic's year in review: 5 biggest stories in 2021

Verona, Wis.-based Epic made headlines this year amid its partnership with Walmart Health and its COVID-19 vaccination mandate for employees.  

Here are five of the most-read stories about Epic reported by Becker's Hospital Review in 2021.

1. COVID-19 reinfection rate around 0.4%, Epic data suggests

Epic's Health Research Network released data April 23 showing that about 0.4 percent of patients who previously tested positive for COVID-19 tested positive again after 90 days. 

2. Epic pays hospitals that use its EHR algorithms, report finds 

Epic gives financial incentives to hospitals and health systems that use its artificial intelligence algorithms, a July 26 STAT News investigation found. The publication said Epic has paid health systems up to $1 million in incentives for adopting predictive algorithms it develops. Epic launched its "honor roll" program in 2017 as part of its push to expand adoption of its AI products. Under the program, hospitals that start using the company's predictive algorithms and make other technical upgrades can receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual payments. 

Epic told Becker's it does not charge for its sepsis model and that the "honor roll" is a "voluntary program which encourages the adoption of features that help save lives, increase data exchange, and improve satisfaction for patients, physicians and health systems." 

3. Walmart to deploy Epic EHR across health centers

Walmart in September said it will begin rolling out Epic's EHR system across four of its Walmart Health Centers opening in Florida early in 2022. 

4. Epic deploys tech to verify COVID-19 vaccination status, test results 

Epic in September deployed technology that serves as a digital vaccination verification by binding a person's identity with their vaccination or lab results and displaying it via QR codes on a smartphone. 

5. Epic mandates COVID-19 vaccinations for employees 

Epic sent a notice to staff July 30 mandating all U.S.-based employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 1. More than 99 percent of the company's workers met the deadline, an Epic spokesperson told Becker's on Oct. 8.


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