What's driving health systems to switch to Epic?

Health systems that have recently moved from an Oracle Health EHR system to an Epic version say they made the move due to Epic's tools and its ability to exchange information easier, Bloomberg reported May 9. 

According to the report, customer departures have accelerated for Cerner, now known as Oracle Health, after it was acquired by Oracle in June 2022. The publication found that in 2023, a dozen major clients finalized agreements to substitute Oracle Health's software.

One of these customers is New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health, which announced it would switch to an Epic EHR system in March 2023. Sophy Lu, Northwell Health's CIO, told Bloomberg the decision was made because Epic had a better-integrated set of tools.

Meanwhile, Boston Children's, which had been using a combination of Cerner and Epic EHRs, said it would switch to an Epic EHR. Heather Nelson, the health system's CIO, told Bloomberg this decision was made prior to Oracle acquiring Cerner but that the uncertainty regarding the decision "didn't help."

Ms. Nelson said the main reason Boston Children's switched to Epic was that the vendor allowed it to exchange information with neighboring hospitals that use the same EHR more easily. But she added that replacing an EHR vendor is a massive task. Ms. Nelson said healthcare organizations typically use their EHR for 15 years before thinking about switching.

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