How Epic names its programs

Epic makes sure its product names have a "feeling" and require some thought for people to deduce the meaning, according to founder and CEO Judy Faulkner.

The names should always be "whimsical, fun, and upbeat," Ms. Faulkner wrote in a May 6 blog post: Wisdom for dental, Bugsy for infection control, Dorothy for home health, Bones for orthopedics. 

The names are typically one to three syllables, except for those that control processes, she said: Care Everywhere for interoperability and Happy Together for connecting multiple charts from the same patient.

Ms. Faulkner also wrote that the names should be on "a different level, requiring just a moment of thought": Stork for labor and delivery, Phoenix for transplant, Beans for nephrology, and Willow for pharmacy ("because acetylsalicylic acid comes from the willow tree, which pharmacists know.")

One more rule: The titles must be "intuitively obvious to everyone who works with the product," she said. "No mythology god or goddess names."

The fun names extend to Epic's Wisconsin headquarters, Ms. Faulkner pointed out: the Jabberwocky, Abyss, and Black Hole parking garages; the underground, 11,400-seat Deep Space auditorium; and the three sections — Shake, Rattle and Roll — of the 6,000-seat Epicenter auditorium.

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