Judy Faulkner's financial philosophy

Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner is happy when her employees don't know what EBIDTA stands for.

Visitors recently asked some Epic staffers what the company's EBIDTA was, Ms. Faulkner wrote in an April 8 blog post. They had no idea, nor did they know that it meant earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

"I was delighted to hear that story," she wrote.

Rather, she said, she wants Epic employees focusing on the features of the company's software rather than its financials.

"Yes, of course we know that financials are important, and if we're not financially OK we won't exist — but for our staff, the financials rarely enter into decision-making," she wrote. "Do our customers need a new feature or a new module? If so, we create it, and only when someone wants to buy it do we think, 'Oh, it needs a name and a price.'"

The philosophy has apparently worked. Epic is the leader in U.S. hospital market share for EHRs (while Ms. Faulkner is one of the richest people in the world).

Epic's January meeting features a 20-minute year-in-review video discussing things like the number of surgical errors prevented, babies born with Epic's Stork software, or — what Ms. Faulkner called her "personal favorite" — the times clinicians changed orders after they popped up on a contraindicated list (66 million occassions in 2023), she said. About 10 seconds of the video touch on the previous year's financials.

"Not being publicly traded, not being VC or PE owned, allows us this great freedom," Ms. Faulkner wrote.

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