9/11 and the Deceit of First Impressions

I’m sure everyone remembers where they were ten years ago on 9/11. Me, I was at an Epic user conference in Madison, WI on that horrible day. This year I ventured back to Wisconsin and Epic’s conference to see what has changed over the past decade.

Thirteen years ago I had my first interaction with Epic. I was trying to understand the difference between MedicaLogic (now GE Centricity EMR), Epic, and several other players. After calling all of the vendors, only one did not return my call. Any guesses as to which one? Epic didn’t respond to my first call, and my second, third and fourth calls to them didn’t yield any more success. I determined at that point that Epic was clearly a difficult vendor to deal with and likely didn’t have anything of value to offer the market.

Here we are 13 years later and my assessment has only partially changed. Want a call back from Epic? Don’t hold your breath. Nothing to offer the market! Hardly the case. That was solidified as I watched the 6,500 users at their users group this year, along with many new organizations that have signed recently for Epic (including biggies like Duke, John’s Hopkins and Loma Linda).

So why do I bring this up? I sometimes hear that KLAS is an “Epic bigot.” I suppose that is something like Consumer Reports being a Honda bigot or Moody’s being a U.S. T-Bills bigot. I was shocked back in 1999 when they first rated as the best vendor in our annual report, especially after my initial encounter – or lack of an encounter – with them. First impressions can sometimes be deceiving.

This 9/11 I was grateful to take off from an airport in Wisconsin for my flight to Utah rather than driving home while listening to the 9/11 American tragedy and heartache unfold.

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