Here’s a quick rundown of factors contributing to EPIC’s EHR software failure. (Previous link no longer available.)
TENS OF THOUSANDS OF FEATURES
Microsoft Word has approximately 1,200 features/functions (this is rough estimate), most of which are ignored by common users. The problem with EHR software, though, is that the market is filled with hoodwinking, one-size-fits-all “solutions” all gimmicking for doctor’s dollars. MS Word has a core base of users (the entire professional, semi-professional and college-educated world) who are familiar with core procedures and who can adapt to new features with each version. EHR/EMR software DOES NOT HAVE THIS ADVANTAGE. Asking people to sift through tens of thousands of buttons and features to “figure out” how to do something is an exercise in futility. Yet it actually happens on the marketplace.
TWELVE HOUR TRAINING
EPIC’s epic failure could be easily identified in its training program, netting around 12 hours. If you need more than an hour to get someone going on an application, it’s NOT A TIME SAVING PROGRAM. If something needs more than 12 hours of training, it’s edging on it’s own career path, something deserving a designated professional to operate. Our thinking is that if you need to hire someone to learn how to use a program, the program didn’t actually save you anything. Of course, there are more involved trainings—take for example flying, which clocks in at around 20,000 hours.
“Chart review, results review, review visit, and snapshot” are all used in EPIC’s EHR. No doctor uses these terms. They use the terms “HPI, Exam, Procedures, Results, Prior Records” which are not included in EPIC’s EHR. This does not make sense. It’s one thing to have to settle on one term or for something referred to multiple ways. However, implementing contrived terminology makes for a BAD USER EXPERIENCE and should be avoided at all costs.
EPIC is also guilty of charging large sums to gain access to its poorly functioning software. As the saying goes, “Once you pay, they’re gone.” That’s why a subscription model is to doctor’s advantage when choosing an EHR. Renewable payments mean developers have an ongoing responsibility to keep the app running effectively, and to properly communicate and/or provide training as the software expands and/or changes.
Have you witnessed EPIC’s software catastrophe firsthand? If so, let us know about some of your “finer” experiences in the comment section.
Thanks to Alex Mohseni who first blogged about these issues on Creative Health Labs.