Michigan Medicine taking steps to move Epic to the cloud

Ann Arbor-based Michigan Medicine has implemented Epic Cloud Read-Only, marking its first step to moving its EHR system to the cloud, TechnologyMagazine.com reported March 1. 

This move, according to Tim Calahan, PhD, chief technology officer of the organization, positions it alongside innovations like generative AI, reshaping both patient care delivery and the overall patient experience. 

"This allows us to change how we deliver patient care and how we deliver a patient experience. By moving it into the cloud, we enable those broader suites of features and functionality that the cloud provides," he told TechnologyMagazine.com

One of the advantages to the moving is scalability, according to Dr. Calahan. 

"We've got about 14,000 users here at Michigan Medicine," he told the magazine. "On a Monday morning at 10 a.m., I've got about 14,000 users hitting our Epic system. But on Monday at 2 a.m., I might only have 1,000. By moving things to the cloud, I have the ability to scale compute up and down in a very responsible way that I can't do on-prem."

Additionally, another benefit of the move, according to Dr. Calahan, is that it allows compute infrastructure to be standardized, offering cost efficiencies and improved performance. 

Dr. Calahan stated that Epic upgrades involve significant infrastructure investments every six months. By standardizing compute infrastructure, Michigan Medicine aims to provide a seamless environment for Epic, enhancing performance and eliminating the need for frequent ad-hoc adjustments.

Dr. Calahan further highlighted that this migration brings an added advantage in enhancing protection and recoverability in the event of a cyber incident.

"There is not a week that goes by that you don't hear about a healthcare system suffering from a cyber attack. One of the goals of our cloud initiative is to enhance and improve upon the very traditional backup and recovery processes and procedures we use today to provide a much more streamlined and efficient method to perform recovery, which will thereby improve resiliency," he told the publication. "We aim to inject backup and recovery capabilities into the very foundation of our cloud operating platforms, which will make it capable at identifying and recovering from a cyber event."

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