Major takeaways from Epic UGM
At the recent Epic UGM, it was clear that the company is continuing to push forward aggressively, despite the turmoil in the health IT market. Major announcements included the significant progress in onboarding clients to Cosmos, the payer platform, OR scheduling optimization, and a unified record for all Epic patients.
For years, Epic has had a payer solution called Tapestry. One of the biggest highlights of this year's UGM was their traction with their payer platform. The payer platform facilitates an ever more comprehensive array of provider-payer processes. This platform enables payers to electronically access files that their contracts already allow.
This solves a real problem for organizations in value-based contracts where the payers want access to the EMR records for the patient population.
Specialist and OR scheduling
One of Epic'sEpic's proposed improvements is an algorithm designed to optimize surgery and specialist schedule. According to Epic implementation executive Tina Perkins, operating rooms often sit idle for hours due to changes in doctors' schedules. Epic's new algorithm will find those times and rearrange the schedule to fill those gaps with more procedures, reducing patient wait times and increasing hospital revenue.
"If (organizations) can better understand where they're using their resources, where they could best use their staff time, how they could run more efficiently, then they can lower health care costs," Epic researcher Danessa Sandman said.
Is this the end of OR optimization point solutions? There has been a lot of success from companies like HospitalQ, LeanTaas, Qventus, Tagnos, PeraHealth, and others in this space. CIOs and decision makers may hold off on exploring the point solutions after this announcement.
Goodbye Citrix.. hopefully.
Epic completed their move from locally-installed software to a web-based platform – a feat Faulkner claimed took 24 million cups of coffee and even more lines of code. Software developer Caleb Cox said the move would increase access and make upgrades easier. CIOs and technology staff have been deploying Epic via Citrix, which can be an experience. Moving towards web-based is the right move for the Epic client.
Traditionally, a clinical trial's organizer, for example, would manually query individual health systems that would then have to sort through their data to identify qualifying patients – a process that could take weeks. With Cosmos, identifying possible patients for a trial would take only seconds. Epic has grown its Cosmos data to over 162M patients' lives, with a projected 200M by the year-end.
Epic will be releasing centralized patient portal identity management. One username and password for all Epic clients. This is a great experience where patients do not need multiple logins for different organizations where they have received care.
Overall, these are excellent add-ons to the system. Epic is aiming for particular point solutions that businesses have often added on in the past. The company is dedicated to developing diverse options matching their clients' demands to create an integrated solution.