Epic turns 40

Epic Systems CEO Judy Faulkner and her staff celebrated the EHR company's 40th anniversary March 22, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

Founded in 1979, Epic was one of the first to transition medical records from paper files to digital records. Ms. Faulkner started the company in the basement of an apartment building equipped with her recent bachelor's degree in math from Dickinson College.

Today, Epic has 9,800 employees at its Verona, Wis., campus. The company generates $2.9 billion in annual revenue and stores medical records for more than 250 million people, according to the report.

When Ms. Faulkner started Epic, her original vision was to target healthcare; it wasn't to track individual's health histories. Her original goal was to "manage external factors, such as scheduling appointments, operating room access and patients' names and addresses in order to make hospital records more efficient," Mike Hegyi, senior systems architect at Epic told the Journal.

As the computer industry changed, so did Epic's strategy.

At the end of 1995, Epic had 100 clients and 125 employees on staff. Then in 2003, Epic made its largest contract ever. Per the agreement, Epic would supply software to Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanent's 8.4 million patients, 30 hospitals, 423 medical offices and more than 11,000 physicians.

Ms. Faulkner, now 75, remains quiet about the company, but has no plans to retire.  She is determined to keep Epic privately owned and develop software exclusively by company employees, according to the Journal.

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