5 Epic updates in the New Year

2016 has barely begun, but already EHR vendor Epic is proving active in the health IT space. Here are five points on what Epic and some of its users have been up to in 2016 thus far.

1. Employee numbers and physical space growth. Verona, Wis.-based Epic grew in 2015 by approximately 1,400 employees last year, and the company plans to continue expanding in 2016. The company hopes to open the first three buildings of a five-building expansion of its Verona campus announced last year. Additionally, Epic is completing its Wizards Academy, an expansion that also includes five new buildings. Due to the company's rapid growth in footprint and workforce, more roads leading to and from its campus are in the works.

2. Mayo Clinic data center deal. This year, Epic and Mayo Clinic, based in Rochester, Minn., entered into a $46 million, sale-leaseback deal for Mayo's data center. Under the agreement, Mayo is selling the 62,000-square-foot data center to Epic. Mayo will then lease the center for at least four years, with the option to continue the deal indefinitely. In 2015, Mayo announced its intentions to implement Epic's EHR and revenue cycle platform.

3. Denver Health's under budget implementation. Out of control EHR implementation costs made headlines in 2015. In a notable break from this trend, Denver Health's CEO Arthur Gonzalez told The Denver Post the system is scheduled to go live on the Epic EHR this year, and the project remains under budget. Though the project is not past its price point, Denver Health's former CIO Gregory Veltri has expressed concerns about the implementation. He resigned due to a disagreement over the decision to switch to Epic.

4. Hospitals seek new employees to work with the Epic EHR. EHR implementations are massive undertakings calling not only for capital investment, but significant manpower, as well. South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Mass., is in the process of implementing the Epic EHR. As part of the process, the hospital is hiring more than 50 people to provide support.

Additionally, a number of hospitals working with Epic have posted job listings for new talent. The following 11 hospitals have posted listings on online job seeker websites for employees to work with Epic's platform:

•    Boston Medical Center
•    Henry Ford Health System (Detroit)
•    Lahey Health (Burlington, Mass.)
•    MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston)
•    Northwestern Medicine (Chicago)
•    Penn Medicine (Philadelphia)
•    Piedmont Healthcare (Atlanta)
•    ProMedica (Toledo, Ohio)
•    Providence Health & Services (Renton, Wash.)
•    Spectrum Health (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
•    University Medical Center New Orleans

Click here to view the full list of job postings.

5. Partners HealthCare to integrate quality solutions into Epic EHR. Hospitals and health systems are leveraging their EHRs to explore how health IT can be used to improve operations. For example, Partners HealthCare, based in Boston, signed an agreement to roll out QPID Health software solutions across all 10 of its hospitals and physician organizations over the next two years. QPID provides solutions designed to help healthcare providers meet quality goals and decrease costs. QPID will integrate with Partners eCare, an Epic-based system.

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