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Cleveland Clinic, Dell Offer Joint Epic EHR Service

Posted on February 27, 2014 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

Even when you’re a juggernaut the size of Epic, eventually you’re going to reach the point where your customer base is saturated and you need unique new directions to go. This new deal between Dell and the Cleveland Clinic may do just that for Epic.

This week at HIMSS, the two are announcing an agreement in which the two will offer consulting, installation, configuration and hosting services for Cleveland Clinic’s version of Epic. Under the deal struck between the two parties, customers can choose between a hosted version of the Epic instance and a full install on their site.

Cleveland Clinic execs say that their knowledge of using Epic, which they have for more than three years, will give them special expertise in helping providers adjust to Epic.  The Clinic has been selling Epic to providers  through its MyPractice Healthcare Solutions business.  To date, MyPractice has sold EMRs to more than 400 providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners and midwives within a 50 mile radius of Cleveland.

Working with Dell, the two companies plan to offer the new EMR service nationwide. The Cleveland Clinic will handle the EMR installation for new customers, and Dell provides the technology infrastructure. Epic gets a licensing fee for each of these deals, the customers’ relationship will be with Dell and the Cleveland Clinic.

As Dr. C. Martin Harris, CIO of the Cleveland Clinic, told Modern Healthcare, most medical practices and hospitals have EMRs in place, leaving only a much smaller group of first-time EMR buyers. But, Harris said, that minis still a big number. (And there’s always the practices still looking to switch.)

Turning Dell and the Cleveland Clinic into a sales channel for Epic seems like a pretty smart move. With the help of players who know the smaller physician practice market, it might open up a new opportunity for Epic which it hadn’t much of a shot at before.

Epic Hit With Class-Action Suit Over Worker Pay

Posted on December 12, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

A former employee has filed a class action suit against Epic Systems, arguing that the EMR vendor has been violating labor laws by denying some of its workers overtime pay.

The suit, which was filed by a former QA employee Evan Nordgren, contends that he and as many as 1,000 former and present QA workers should have been paid time-and-half for overtime hours. (Nordgren is now enrolled in the University of Wisconsin’s law school.) The suit concerns hours worked over a three-year period taking place prior to the filing of the lawsuit.

Epic, of course, disagrees with the suit’s assessment. It argues that state and federal law “make it clear that employees in computer-related jobs who primarily test software are appropriately classified as salaried professionals,” making them exempt from overtime pay.

Epic certainly has enough money to pay its employees whatever they’re due. The company had revenues of $1.5 billion in 2012, according to Forbes. Judy Faulkner, who founded Epic in 1979, has a net worth of about $2.3 billion and was ranked number 243 on Forbes 2013 list of the richest 400 Americans, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

On other hand, if Epic is forced to cough up overtime pay to past and present QA employees, it seems likely — to me at least — that other suits of this type will follow, something no company wants to take on.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see on this one.

California Nurses Slam Sutter’s Epic System

Posted on July 17, 2013 I Written By

Anne Zieger is veteran healthcare consultant and analyst with 20 years of industry experience. Zieger formerly served as editor-in-chief of FierceHealthcare.com and her commentaries have appeared in dozens of international business publications, including Forbes, Business Week and Information Week. She has also contributed content to hundreds of healthcare and health IT organizations, including several Fortune 500 companies. Contact her at @ziegerhealth on Twitter or visit her site at Zieger Healthcare.

Nurses at two Sutter hospitals have flooded the management with complaints that the Epic EMR installed there is causing safety problems and eating up time best spent in patient care.

According to a statement from the California Nurses Association, more than 100 RNs at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center facilities in Oakland and Berkeley have filed reports citing problems with the new Epic system in place there.  The nurses submitted these complaints on union forms designed to document assignments the nurses believe to be unsafe.

Specific incidents documented by the nurses included the following. (Apologies for the length of the list, but it’s worth seeing.)

• A patient who had to be transferred to the intensive care unit due to delays in care caused by the computer.
• A nurse who was not able to obtain needed blood for an emergent medical emergency.
• Insulin orders set erroneously by the software.
• Missed orders for lab tests for newborn babies and an inability for RNs to spend time teaching new mothers how to properly breast feed babies before patient discharge.
• Lab tests not done in a timely manner.
• Frequent short staffing caused by time RNs have to spend with the computers.
• Orders incorrectly entered by physicians requiring the RNs to track down the physician before tests can be done or medication ordered.
• Discrepancies between the Epic computers and the computers that dispense medications causing errors with medication labels and delays in administering medications.
• Patient information, including vital signs, missing in the computer software.
• An inability to accurately chart specific patient needs or conditions because of pre-determined responses by the computer software.
• Multiple problems with RN fatigue because of time required by the computers and an inability to take rest breaks as a result.
• Inadequate RN training and orientation.

This is not the first time nurses have gone on the warpath over issues with their hospital’s EMR rollout. Just last month, RNs at Affinity Medical Center in Massillon, OH got national attention when they cited problems in training and safety with the Cerner rollout in progress there.

Taken on their own, I don’t think such protests are going to much to slow the progress of EMR rollouts nationwide, even if the nurses involved are spot on in their observations.  Once the EMR juggernaut starts rolling, it’s very, very hard to slow it down.

But with any luck, the complaints will draw the eyes of regulators and patients to EMR safety and training concerns, and that will lead to some form of change. The issues raised by the Sutter RNs and others shouldn’t (and can’t) be pushed aside indefinitely.

Epic References and The Winning EHR Solution

Posted on May 26, 2013 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I think that Jonathan Bush has started a trend in the EHR world where people now abuse use of the adjective epic. In some ways it’s similar to the way that the word “meaningful” has now been corrupted for all of us in the EHR world. Here’s a couple tweets that show examples of the word Epic being used in interesting ways.

And another example from ePatient Dave:

There goes the word epic in my vocabulary.


I know a lot of people differentiate EHR from PM. I think they’re slowly growing into one software system. The winning EHR will have to deal with both. I wonder what else it will have to do. I’m certain that basic EHR and PM won’t be enough.

The Epic EMR Giant Challenge, EHR Alternatives, EMR Go-Live Tweets, and Patient-Centric Health

Posted on June 10, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

As I mentioned on EMR and HIPAA today, I’ve decided to trade off posts between this site and EMR and HIPAA each Sunday. On one site I’ll do a post looking at various EMR and Healthcare IT related tweets. On the other site, Katie will be taking a look around the various Healthcare Scene blogs to highlight some of the important posts that people might have missed.

This will be the first round up of EMR related tweets on EMR and EHR. I hope you enjoy the posts. It’s always fun and interesting to see what people are saying and hopefully I provide some valuable commentary alongside the tweets.


While this article has a catchy headline (Anything with Epic in it’s headline seems to do well), I was disappointed by the article. Any discussion of Epic’s dominance that revolves around a discussion of interoperability as this article does is really missing the target. I’m not sure how the author of this article missed that even different Epic installs can’t share information. Epic has done very well at a lot of things, but interoperability is not one of them.


I don’t agree completely with The Nerdy Nurse. You can still get paid without using an EMR. ARRA hasn’t drastically changed that situation. Although, down the road that might become the case.


If you are an EHR lover, you’ll love the Live Tweeting that John Showalter did of his EHR Go Live. I love the transparency and the energy he has. Another great John in the healthcare IT space. I should start a Healthcare IT John’s list.


I’m not sure anyone would argue that Epic is a patient-centric platform. I’d be interested to hear someone who’d like to give it a try.