Premium Reports
Epic Enters the Community Space

Epic Enters the Community Space
Collaboration Brings Synergies with Smaller Organizations

Authored by: | Read Time: Unknown

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.

KLAS Report: Epic Enters the Community Space

WORTH KNOWING

PARTNERSHIP AND INTEGRATION THRIVE WITH EPIC COMMUNITY CONNECT.

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.

LOWEST INITIAL COST; MIXED EXPERIENCE WITH ONGOING IT COSTS/ RESOURCES.

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.

IMPLEMENTATIONS ARE GENERALLY VERY SUCCESSFUL.

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.

LOSS OF AUTONOMY AND SYSTEM CONTROL IS OF GREATEST CONCERN FOR HOSTED HOSPITALS.

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

Want to see full details?

 Download Report Brief  Download Full Report

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. © 2018 KLAS Enterprises, 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.