MIS Research Paper

Submitted By dr_dave2005
Words: 1005
Pages: 5

Epic Systems is a privately held healthcare software company which was founded by CEO Judith Faulkner in 1979 (Wikipedia). The company, originally Human Services Computing, was formed from an investment of $70,000 funded by Faulkner, her parents, and a dozen colleagues and their family members. Today, Epic Systems’ Intergalactic Headquarters is located on 800 acres of farmland in Verona, Wisconsin with approximately 6,200 employees and an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion. Epic Systems offers about 35 different software applications. These applications form an electronic health record program that has been implemented in organizations such as Johns Hopkins, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, and the University of California (Moukheiber). An electronic medical record (EMR) is defined as a computerized medical record created in an organization that delivers care, such as a hospital or physician's office (Wikipedia). The cost for an organization to implement an electronic health record is unbelievably high. Depending on the size of the organization, costs of implementing Epic can be hundreds of millions of dollars. Duke University System and Partners Healthcare will pay approximately $700 million while the University of California will pay approximately $150 million to implement the program (Z. 2. Moukheiber). Organizations implementing EHR’s look to offset these expenses by meeting meaningful use objectives. Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs provide a financial incentive for achieving "meaningful use," which is the use of certified EHR technology to achieve health and efficiency goals. Stage 1 meaningful use objectives are grouped into five patient-driven domains that relate to health outcomes policy priorities; Improve quality, safety, and efficiency, engage patients and families, improve care coordination, improve public and population health, and ensure privacy and security for personal health information. Stage 2 of meaningful use intends to increase health information exchange between providers and promote patient engagement by giving patients secure online access to their health information (HealthIT.gov). Epic makes software for mid-sized to large medical groups, hospitals, and integrated healthcare organizations. They develop, install, and support all of their products in-house (Epic Systems). Their software includes about 35 different applications that cover everything from ambulatory care in the clinic, to emergency center documentation, inpatient hospitalization, billing, coding, and everything in between. In all, Epic currently has 275 customers and stores the medical records of approximately 40 million patients, and is growing at exponential rates. By July 2013 Epic expects that their system will cover 127 million patients (Freudenheim).
One of the primary concerns brought to the table regarding online access to medical records is the issue of security. As there is always a risk of a breach in security in online systems, patients should take comfort in knowing that in the 32 years epic has been up and running, there has not been one single break in Epics data by a hacker. Also, when physicians are using their tablets, mobile devices and/or laptops, the information they are viewing cannot be saved and stored onto those individual devices. It can only be viewed in such a way that if a device were to ever be stolen, patient information would not be able to be tampered with. (Freudenheim) The information physicians are able to view on electronic devices is also available for patients to view through a program called MyChart. There are many benefits to having this access not only for the patients, but for physicians and other healthcare workers as well. The thought is that by patients having access to their medical records, it may motivate them to improve their overall health by taking a more proactive approach. They will be able to view test results, view upcoming