How Epic got its name

Epic's EHR got its name from the word for a Greek poem, or "a glorious recounting of events," in this case the story of a patient, according to company founder and CEO Judy Faulkner.

Epic also named its other EHRs after poems or songs, including Sonnet (a smaller iteration of Epic), Canto (the version for the tablet), Haiku (the phone), and Limerick (the watch), Ms. Faulkner wrote in a May 6 blog post. "These remind us that even though we're programmers, we're literate," she wrote. "If we ever do a ring, it will be Chirp."

The Happy Together feature, which pulls together patient data from multiple EHRs, was named after the Turtles' song played at Ms. Faulkner's daughter's wedding. Caboodle is Epic's data warehouse, while Kit is the company's data extraction tool. "At a meeting, someone told me he didn’t like the name Caboodle," Ms. Faulkner recalled. "I asked him what some of the other vendors named their data stores, and he had no idea. People remember Kit and Caboodle."

Not all the quirky names make it past the brainstorming stage. Ms. Faulkner recalled how she wanted to name the cardiology module Thumper; one health system leader told her it wasn't serious enough. She asked a pediatric cardiologist, who was visiting patient rooms wearing a clown's nose and handing out his card (the Joker). 

"This man, sitting there with a big red nose and Jokers in his hand, looked at me seriously and said, 'It's not dignified enough,'" she recalled. "That killed Thumper. Cardiology became Cupid."

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