Into the wild with health IT: 6 highlights from Judy Faulkner's Epic UGM address

Epic CEO and Founder Judy Faulkner equated surviving in nature to staying afloat in the today's health technology industry in her 2018 executive address at the company's annual Users Group Meeting Aug. 28, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

As usual, Ms. Faulkner dressed to match this year's theme — "The Great Outdoors" — and wore a brown Girl Scout uniform, a ranger hat and duck boots.

Six highlights from Ms. Faulkner's speech.

1. Ms. Faulkner said that as one of 100 scouts chosen for a program in Oregon's Cascade Mountains in her youth, she learned about resourcefulness and teamwork.

"Being resourceful and working together make the world a better place," she told an audience filling the company's 11,400-seat auditorium, according to The Cap Times.

2. Ms. Faulkner often makes big predictions in her speech about what's to come in health technology. This year, she emphasized her vision of a single shared network of health data across a global network of healthcare systems.

"You've eliminated the silos from within your organization," said Ms. Faulkner. "Now it's time to eliminate the silos from outside."

3. This year, Epic boasted 3.5 million patient record shares a day, up from 2 million a year ago.

4. A new Epic's program, Cosmos, is one way the company is looking to solve interoperability and promote collaboration in healthcare, according to the Journal. Cosmos is collecting nonidentifying information about patients to help guide healthcare decisions.

"[Cosmos] probably will be the world's largest database of patient information," Ms. Faulkner said. "This is going to be evidence-based medicine at its best."

5. Another way the company is approaching interoperability is through its One Virtual System Worldwide initiative, which launched earlier this year, The Cap Times reports. The project is exploring ways of having every patient on one shared network.

6. The Verona, Wis.-based EHR vendor is also planning to hire "lots of new staff for software development." An Epic spokeswoman later told the Journal Epic hopes to add about 400 software developers by the end of 2019.

"Healthcare will always be needed. Augmenting our brains, which is what IT does, is always going to be here — assuming no World War III knocks us back to the Stone Age. And the area in between is the hottest area around," Ms. Faulkner said.

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