'We won't sell our software to you': Why Judy Faulkner favors an all-in-1 EHR

Epic founder and CEO Judy Faulkner isn't afraid to tell customers no.

Once, when leaders from a health system visited her company, they relayed how they wanted a McKesson EHR for pharmacy, Cerner for nursing, Epic for documentation "and so on," she wrote in a March 4 blog post.

"I tapped our salesperson who was sitting next to me and whispered, 'Why are they here?'" Ms. Faulkner recalled. "When it was our turn to speak, we said, 'That's an awful way to design a system and we're sorry you traveled here, but we won't sell our software to you.'"

Other vendors also told the health system leaders it was a misguided approach but were willing to sell them the software anyway, she wrote. Epic wasn't.

"In the end, they installed our integrated system," Ms. Faulkner recalled.

Epic's all-in-one approach to EHRs is a big reason it has become so dominant in the market, health system leaders say.

"Within ambulatory, if you remember back, every specialty had their own EMR," Penn Medicine CIO Michael Restuccia told Becker's for an October story. "We have 30-plus specialties. So we had at least 30-plus niche EMRs supporting them, because sometimes we had multiple EMRs for the same specialty. Just think through this: That's 30-plus contracts, 30-plus maintenance agreements, 30-plus vendor representatives that you have to keep track of, 30-plus interfaces."

Now the Philadelphia-based academic health system has one: Epic.

"When you're trying to run a complex health system, integration trumps interoperability every day," Mr. Restuccia said.

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