There is going to be a lot of money made as the result of the potentially large-scale deployment of Epic's immature LIS called Beaker. One of the first in line to shake this money tree will be KLAS. Here is their announcement of a report on this topic by the company (see: Epic Beaker: Ready or Not?):
The laboratory market typically sees little movement. Because of the expense and complexity from a laboratory system’s deep penetration into a hospital, laboratory systems are not changed frequently. If providers do change, it is rarely from a more sophisticated solution to a more immature one. One product that seems to be bucking that trend is Epic Beaker, Epic’s newly available laboratory solution. Of surveyed Epic hospitals currently using other laboratory solutions, over half are preparing to make the switch from their current laboratory solution to Epic—most within the next one to two years—despite noting its current immaturity in comparison to their more advanced solutions. Non-Provider Price: $12,980. Provider Price: $980.
You can get a bit of a price break on the document by providing information to the company about your own healthcare IT systems -- see the cost of the report for providers vs. non-provider.
There are two inexorable rules in the world of pathology informatics: (1) you never, never move retrograde with your LIS by suddenly providing less functionality and inferior test result integration or formatting to your customers than is currently available to them; (2) the labs and pathology will always be blamed for such changes regardless of how they occurred. The only exception to rule #1 occurs when you deploy a new LIS and during the initial break-in period. Users will tolerate some chaos with a new system but only for a limited amount of time. If it extends to a month or two, your job will be in jeopardy.
If you have any doubt about the immaturity of the Epic LIS product, beaker, you need only refer back to may earlier notes (see: Details about Epic's Beaker LIS, Supplied by the Company; A Pathologist Describes His Firsthand Experience with a Demo of Epic's Beaker LIS). You may say, in response to this claim, that Beaker won't stay immature for long. Unfortunately, we also learn the following from the above "Details" note:
- [Total no.] of employees in entire [Epic] company: 3,848
- No. of employees dedicated to LIS development, installation, and support: 51
So, if you are one of the pathology departments that is slated to rip out your current legacy LIS that may be adequate or optimal and install Beaker, what course of action do you pursue.? You will obviously need to retain the specialized modules that are either not available in Beaker or available but not installed (e.g., blood bank donor and transfusion; surgical pathology; cytopathology; molecular pathology; cytogenetics; flow cytology; HLA; microbiology data, C&S). You may also opt to serve as a beta test site for the available, but non-installed, lab modules of Beaker. You may also need to develop a more charitable view of what "available" means.
You may also need to hire some lab software integration consultants to help you through this maze but competent ones are few and far between. I also suspect that your current, legacy LIS vendor may not be too enthusiastic about helping you with such a project. And here's where the money tree begins to sway again, both in terms of new capital expenditures as well as time away from the bench.