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Reaping the Benefits and Avoiding the Risks of an Epic Implementation

Learn how leading organizations are taking an aggressive “advise and consent” approach to Epic implementations—allowing them to benefit from Epic’s strengths while taking ownership of factors critical to success.

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In the U.S., it's mostly Epic

Our previous research has described risks that can be associated with the rapid, big-bang implementation of any EMR vendor’s product.

Given Epic’s large share of EMR implementations, we wondered how the risks and potential solutions described in our previous reports differed for Epic customers. We interviewed some of Epic’s most experienced U.S. hospital customers and the busiest Epic implementation consultants, and analyzed their responses, to determine how Epic implementation projects differ from those for other vendors’ systems.

Avoiding the risks, Epic style

We've identified six risks of a rapid, large-scale EMR implementation driven primarily by meaningful use deadlines:

  • Loss of organizational goodwill
  • Withdrawal of support
  • Conversion or duplication
  • Burnout and exit of IT staff
  • A strategy gap
  • Lack of measurable value

These risks can affect any vendor’s EMR implementation; however, as we already mentioned, most new U.S. EMR implementations are Epic systems. And many of those customers selected Epic at least partly because they wanted to implement rapidly, so it is likely that these risks are affecting mostly Epic customers.

In this brief, we also expand on 14 ways to avoid or mitigate these risks:

    1. Begin with the end in mind
    2. Governance, governance, governance
    3. Reporting and transparency
    4. Seek external input on project staffing
    5. Consider slowing down
    6. Get the sequencing right
    7. Manage change
    8. Don’t hijack, integrate
    9. Select or hire the right project director
    10. Learn from other customers
    11. Standardize intelligently
    12. Consider postponing major changes
    13. Get organized
    14. Hold the line on testing


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