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Highlights from UGM 2019

Late last month, Epic celebrated its 40th birthday with an estimated 7,000 customer representatives during their annual User’s Group Meeting (UGM) in Verona, Wisconsin. Judy Faulkner’s executive address outlined how Epic’s growth coincided with the growth of her daughter, who is also celebrating the milestone birthday this year. She stressed how, without being led by a business-oriented CEO (Judy is a programmer at heart), Epic has always prided itself on keeping the patient at the center of everything they do. While telling the story of Epic’s growth, she also pointed out many of the forward-thinking aspects within Epic’s products over the years.

While most sessions and conversations trended toward returning topics and themes – revenue realization, battling opioid addiction, rural healthcare, rolling out Connect to affiliates, and mergers and acquisitions, there was definitely a buzz regarding what Epic will provide in the near future. Some of that innovative functionality, like Predictive Analytics Models, are available today.

In her address, Judy again alluded to the potential impact on care that Cosmos, a tool that can mine data across their customers’ systems to research the success of different treatment plans, will have. To emphasize her point, Judy stated that Cosmos “will revolutionize healthcare, when the doctor has evidence-based medicine from 230 million people, it will be a cosmic leap forward.” Currently, Cosmos collects de-identified records from nine health systems – over 8 million patients – with 31 additional organizations joining the effort.

The future of Epic’s EHR (or CHR “comprehensive health record”) remains bright. Judy and Epic strive to include social determinants of health, genomics, and environmental data. For example, they provided a demo of in-development voice recognition capabilities that exhibited an entire patient visit with “zero clicks and zero key strokes” to the raucous applause of the audience.

They also introduced their new customers with snippets of songs loosely related to the organization’s name or location, touted the success of its existing customers’ innovation, and proudly noted that their customers include “20 of the 21 highest-ranked hospitals by U.S. News & World Report”. Of course, it wasn’t all business as Epic provided campfires, horse-and-carriage rides, bouncy houses and lawn games, and a dinner with numerous attractions, including roller skating, under a massive tent on campus.

Keeping the patient at the center, Judy also announced an upcoming initiative for their 400+ customers to continue to use and grow with Epic’s software to collectively save 100,000 lives. The smart money is on this company and its customers to achieve that goal.

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