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Epic Enters the Community Space Epic Enters the Community Space
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Epic Enters the Community Space
Collaboration Brings Synergies with Smaller Organizations

author - Paul Pitcher
Paul Pitcher
author - Lois Krotz
Lois Krotz
February 19, 2014 | Read Time: 3  minutes

Until recently, Epic was largely an unattainable solution for the community hospital space. Over the past several years, independent community providers have been able to utilize full Epic capabilities (Epic Community Connect) via hosting partnerships with larger Epic clients. This report discusses how these community providers view the integration, affordability, and impact on patient care of this hosted offering.


overall performance


Community hospitals have realized clinical synergies with larger regional players via Epic technology that provides seamless cross-organizational integration in both inpatient and clinic settings. The majority of respondents indicated that patient care is improved via better information sharing and a common clinical record. Epic also better positions both hosting and hosted clients for ACO, population health, and other initiatives.


Most study respondents that evaluated multiple options stated that Epic requires the least initial investment compared with other community HIS solutions like CPSI, Healthland, MEDITECH, and McKesson. However, community providers were split on the impact Epic has on their ongoing IT costs/resources. While hosting can bring economy-of-scale benefits, many organizations identified the need for significant hardware upgrades, more application-specific resources, and more support resources.


Community hospitals scored their hosting organization 0.6 points higher than Epic direct customers in implementation quality. Lower service costs, best-practice sharing, and Epic build and design expertise are benefits hosting organizations offer to their hosted clients.


Many Community Connect customers expressed concerns about losing decision-making powers to their hosting organization. Several respondents stated that they regret the decision to be hosted and in retrospect would have gone another EMR route to retain independence.

groupperformance comparison

Q1. What are the key benefits of using Epic through another organization?

Providers identified training, application resources, affordability of Epic, ongoing cost savings, and complete integration via a shared patient record as key benefits. Most organizations feel that they are technologically better positioned with this model than they would be if they had chosen an alternative solution. One CFO said, “In order to have Epic, we had to go through a host organization. The benefits are the cost savings, improved patient care, and best practices. I don’t believe we would have gotten where we are now if we had gone with MEDITECH 6.0.

what are the key benefits of using epic through another organizationhandshake

Q2. What are the key risks/challenges of using Epic through another organization?

Epic clients identified loss of control and independent decision making as the top challenge of being hosted by another organization. This issue was magnified by slow responses from hosting organizations to change requests and by difficulties altering organizational workflow to fit the new system.

what are the key risks challenges of using epic through another organization

Q3. Can I afford Epic Community Connect?

Many providers feel that a low initial investment cost is the primary factor that makes Epic affordable to them. However, community hospitals in this study are split on the impact of IT costs and resources to their operations. Some report tremendous affordability over the long term. One provider said, “Because we went with our hosting organization and Epic, our five-year cost will probably end up running a couple million dollars less than if we had gone with any other choice.” Others experienced an increase in ongoing costs: “Our costs have gone up as a result of the move to Epic. Our support costs have gone up quite a bit. The cost of the annual support is quite a bit more than we were paying with CPSI.”

impact of it costs

Q4. What is the impact on patient care and preparedness for healthcare reform?

Providers feel the ability to share a common clinical patient record across hosting and hosted organizations is the primary reason for improved patient care and their preparedness for healthcare reform. Seventy-four percent of respondents said the impact on patient care is somewhat positive to very positive as a result of moving to Epic. Seventy-one percent of providers expressed greater confidence in their ability to handle healthcare reform initiatives.

impact on customer carepeer advice

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This material is copyrighted. Any organization gaining unauthorized access to this report will be liable to compensate KLAS for the full retail price. Please see the KLAS DATA USE POLICY for information regarding use of this report. © 2024 KLAS Research, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NOTE: Performance scores may change significantly when including newly interviewed provider organizations, especially when added to a smaller sample size like in emerging markets with a small number of live clients. The findings presented are not meant to be conclusive data for an entire client base.