Epic Systems (Epic) is a privately held healthcare software company founded in 1979 by Judy Faulkner. Epic offers an integrated suite of healthcare software and was one of the very first to offer Web-based solutions for health providers. Their applications support functions related to patient care, including registration and scheduling systems for clerks; clinical systems for doctors, nurses, emergency personnel, and other care providers; systems for lab technicians, pharmacists, and radiologists; and billing systems for insurers.
The Epic vision – to allow access to these applications from any Web browser – now called EpicWeb, allows true anytime/anyplace access to patient information via a secured Web login to the Epic system. Once online, users can access major clinical features including care documentation, chart review, incidental order entry and secure messaging. EpicWeb allows physicians working from any location – at home, in the office or remotely – to use the patient’s entire medical record to make well-informed decisions. Users can also access provider schedules, benefit and eligibility information, referral authorizations and account balances.
The Epic-integrated EMR, called MyChart, gives patients controlled Web-based access to the same Epic medical records their doctors’ use and provides convenient self-service functions that reduce costs and increase satisfaction. Because MyChart is integrated with the EMR, it’s easy for patients to get involved in their own health and any Web browser. These self-serve Web-based online functions allow patients to take an active role in their care and reduce the costs. Patients can:
Epic’s freestanding Personal Health Record (PHR), called Lucy, is not connected to any facility’s electronic medical record system. It stays with patients wherever they receive care and allows them to organize their medical information in one readily accessible place. Patients can enter health data directly into Lucy, pull in MyChart data or upload standards-compliant Continuity of Care Documents from other facilities. Lucy is free of the two primary obstacles to patient PHR adoption. One, there are no advertisements on Lucy. Two, Epic will not sell patient data for secondary uses. Both of these barriers have slowed the adoption of other Web-based PHR systems. Epic’s Care Everywhere software can also retrieve documents from Lucy, making this information available to clinicians as part of the electronic chart.
Epic is also leading edge with their vision and recent launch of a mobile application for the iPhone, called Haiku and available on Apple’s AppStore. Haiku provides authorized clinical users of Epic’s Electronic Health Record with secure access to clinic schedules, hospital patient lists, health summaries, test results and notes. Haiku also supports dictation and In Basket access. Haiku works on both the iPhone and iPod touch.
Epic has been, and will continue to be, a true pioneer of Innovative Products and Services for the healthcare industry, often pushing the envelope for connectivity and setting the pace for other companies to follow.