Epic Community Connect: Proliferation through Provider Partnership

What would it mean to a Community Connect hospital to have one record per patient, seamless record sharing, and affordable hosting? KLAS’ report discusses how community providers view Epic Community Connect’s integration, affordability, and impact on patient care.

Those who pay attention to their 401k portfolios are probably familiar with REITs (real estate investment trusts). A REIT is a security that sells like a stock on the major exchanges and invests in real estate directly. It is a great option for less savvy investors like me: even if you don’t have the capital or risk tolerance to invest in or own properties directly, you can still reap the benefit of getting property rents or mortgage interest by investing a share of REITs.

So, how does this mutual-fundish investment relate to Epic Community Connect?

Well, until recently, Epic was largely an unattainable solution for the community hospital space because of its cost. Over the past several years, via hosting partnerships with larger Epic clients, independent community providers have been able to utilize full Epic capabilities (Epic Community Connect). They would not have the financial resources on their own to purchase Epic, but now they can share in the system.

Understandably, the benefits that come with this model are the affordability of the system and successful implementations with best-practice sharing.

Furthermore, 74% of the provider’s surveyed report that the partnership and connectivity gained via Epic Community Connect has had a positive impact on patient care. 71% expressed greater confidence in their ability to handle healthcare reform initiatives.

On the flip side, more than half (53%) of providers reported specific challenges, like decreased decision-making autonomy, while using the system as it is hosted by a bigger facility. The choice now is between the integration and sharing benefits and decision-making autonomy.

Early last year, KLAS also took a deep look at Cerner CommunityWorks. It is different from the Epic Community model. The former is a direct hosting solution with a shared domain. Epic Community Connect is on the same platform as the rest of the Epic suite.

We need to keep in mind that the community EHR space in general is still not high performing for providers. Our last Community Hospital CIS Market Share 2013: Moving Forward without Leaders stated that the overall satisfaction in the community hospital space continued to decrease and that space lacked a leader that can demonstrate a combination of high customer satisfaction and strong sales momentum.

And now, both Epic and Cerner are emerging as new serious players in the community space. With their robust offerings, providers can definitely benefit from having more options.

To drill deeper and get a better understanding of the report, click here.

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