When Epic was the victim of industrial espionage

Epic was once the victim of industrial espionage but decided not to take the other company to court, founder and CEO Judy Faulkner wrote April 8.

When the EHR vendor was still located in the basement of an apartment house, the company hired "Bob," who had worked for a Midwest IT company that specialized in outpatient practice management software, according to Ms. Faulkner. But he didn't sign up for health insurance or seem to have plans to move his wife to Epic's home base of Wisconsin.

Then, one day, an Epic employee notified Ms. Faulkner that "Bob" was photocopying the company's files, she wrote. He later disappeared. Epic found out he had still been working full time for his former company.

The FBI told Epic it was a victim of industrial espionage, according to Ms. Faulkner. "They gave us good advice," she wrote. "If we took the other company to court, it would take all our attention and be a huge distraction. They recommended that we instead compete with the other company in the market and focus on doing the best job possible for our customers."

The other firm was sold about a decade later, she said.

"We learned that even if someone copies everything in our filing cabinets, it won't make much of a difference," Ms. Faulkner wrote. "The corporate culture can't be easily copied."

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