I can't say that anyone will be shocked by the news that HCA seems to have signed a big contract with Epic. I had been hearing that this very large health system was reviewing their long-standing relationship with Meditech. Mr. HIstalk commented about an Epic pilot at an HCA hospital last December (see: Monday Morning Update 12/19/11). It stands to reason that this large health system would take a serious look at Epic. Here's the December HIStalk item:
Q. From EpicNews: “Re: HCA. Any rumors about HCA signing with Epic?”
A. I’ve mentioned here several times that HCA is putting up an Epic pilot as they choose between that option and upgrading Meditech. I haven’t heard anything more than that, although a couple of less well-placed rumors seem to think Epic is the likely choice (I’m guessing that’s due to Epic’s track record rather than any real insider knowledge.)
I have now been informed by a couple of good sources that HCA has signed a $1B plus deal with Epic for some 173 hospitals and 200 free-standing surgical centers with installation phased over the next ten years (see: Hospital Corporation of America). The plan is also said to include deployment of Beaker, Epic's LIS, including surgical pathology. With regard to Beaker, this seems like very good fit because most of the HCA sites are smaller, less complex facilities that are currently using the Meditech LIS. Most would not consider this latter a best-of-breed system so the bar won't be set too high for Beaker.
However, there are some more challenging installs for Beaker in the very near future. I posted a previous note about the Beaker deployment at Allina (see: Allina Health Begins a Phased Rollout of Epic's Beaker LIS). Beaker is also being installed at Johns Hopkins Medicine (see: An Epic Opportunity for Your Career). The Epic enterprise EMR was installed at Stanford Hospital and Clinics two years ago and the hospital is now looking for analysts with experience in deploying Beaker.
I had posted a previous note in February, 2011, quoting older Epic-supplied information that Epic had 51 employees working on Beaker (see: Details about Epic's Beaker LIS, Supplied by the Company). I am now hearing rumors that the company is adding personnel to the Epic development team as fast as they can find them including some who have worked on LISs for best-of-breed vendors. The company will soon need to satisfy a number of fastidious, demanding pathology departments regarding Beaker functionality.
In a recent note, I speculated that Epic, having created what now looks like a dominant position in large hospitals and academic medical centers, would now turn to mid-size hospitals for continuing growth (see: Epic Deemed Unbeatable by HIStalk in the Large Hospital EMR Market). If the news about the HCA deal is true, Epic should be able to leverage this experience to expand its presence in the mid-hospital segment.