I have been assuming that Epic would turn to other countries for sales, given that its EHR has already been deployed or chosen in many of the large, complex U.S. hospitals where it has found great favor. Epic was recently selected to supply the EHR for the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa and four municipalities at a price of 384 million euros (see: American software developer to supply patient data system). Here is a very interesting quote from the article in the Finnish press describing the selection criteria used in the process:
Price was weighted at 40 per cent in the evaluation process. Both of the supplier candidates were also given a score for the functionality, ease of adoption and maintainability of their proposals. Epic Systems Corporation fared well in the evaluation, winning the contract with 92.23 points against [the competing vendor] CGI's 89.76.
Obviously, a functionality scoring system can be tweaked so that a favored vendor comes out the winner. However, this is the first time I have seen press coverage about a healthcare IT contract that quoted the scores of the competing vendors. Note also that they calculate their point system to two decimal places.
Here's a quote from a Finnish colleague's email about this contract:
[Epic] was just selected as the EHR vendor for the (almost) entire Capital (Helsinki) region public health care system - a population base of about 1.5 million. This is a significant development locally as the market has thus far been dominated by local vendors or international vendors with local products.
It would be tempting to view this news as relatively insignificant. If you look at the initial contract price and the population base covered, I think that it's important. In a recent note about Cerner/Leidos/Accenture winning the huge military EHR contract, I made the following comment (see: Cerner/Leidos/Accenture Secure EHR Contract for a Global Military EHR):
As to Epic "failure" to win the [military EHR] contract, I suspect that there were a lot of smiles of relief in Verona when the winner was announced. I think that Epic was competing in the contest because everyone expected it to do so. The Epic culture and emphasis on client control was probably a non-starter for the military brass
Epic is going to be a lot happier with a contract covering a whole city. A major win in a smaller European country will give the company "street credibility" within neighboring countries. As detailed above, this contract also signifies a new direction for Finland in terms of its overarching healthcare IT strategy.