The next iteration of Epic and EHRs

Epic has made gains in the hospital EHR market share in the past year and has been instrumental during the pandemic in supporting field hospitals in New York, Chicago and other cities.

The company had 29 percent of the hospital EHR market share in 2019, according to a KLAS report, and added 55 hospitals last year. The company continues to make inroads within the hospital market and increasingly is expanding to include new healthcare players such as payers and specialty practices, including dental and home infusion providers. The company has partnered with Humana and HCSC through their payer platform to connect health systems to insurers for improved care coordination, authorization efficiency and reduced denials. Critical access hospitals, tribal healthcare providers and social care providers are also newer markets for Epic EHRs.

"Some organizations are adding new software to broaden their comprehensive health records in response to the COVID-19 pandemic," said Eric Helsher, vice president of client success at Epic. "In particular, we've seen an increase in laboratory, infection control, transfer center, mobile and secure chat software implementations."

The company announced it was going live with 190 healthcare providers this fall nationwide, with some being first installations while others are adding software or rolling out their software to additional facilities. Epic is supporting the implementations virtually, a departure from their traditional installation process.

"Our implementation and go-live support model has traditionally relied on being at the elbow with our customers," said Mr. Helsher. "We faced the challenge of reimagining how we could continue that critical work while we couldn't travel to our customers' sites."

The next iteration of healthcare software and EHRs will include more automation, said Sean Bina, vice president of patient experience at Epic. The company has embedded artificial intelligence and voice command capabilities into the EHR. Clinicians can now use their voice to search a patient's medical history and place orders.

"In the future, the voice assistant will also be able to write the clinician's note and close the visit," said Mr. Bina. "We'll also increasingly use data to drive evidence-based medicine."

Epic's Cosmos project, a health research database with more than 65 million records, has the goal of reaching 200 million records in the coming years. Mr. Bina said Cosmos' insights will appear in real-time within Epic in the future to help clinicians make more data-driven decisions at the point of care.

In addition to their independent innovations, Epic works closely with large tech companies and retailers to streamline healthcare delivery. Epic's cognitive computing platform allows systems to place data in the Microsoft Azure Cloud for heavier processing and then feeds insights back into the local Epic workflow.

"We're also working with these companies on advancements in the public cloud to support our customers' Epic infrastructure," said Mr. Bina. "We have experience working with large retailers that provide patient care, like our customer CVS Health."


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