EPIC Community Connect the HCTI Difference
Ryan Sommers, PMP, Senior Director, Epic Practice
Nov 02, 2020
Epic is the undisputed EHR software leader, both in terms of market share and staff satisfaction scores. However, one area has recently come under scrutiny, and not without merit. KLAS reviewed the Epic Community Connect experience for the first time this year, and as a domain we are heavily engaged with and know particularly well, we thought we’d share some additional perspectives.
The major pattern reported in KLAS’ 2020 report is one that we’ve recognized for years, and have successfully established partnership and implementation procedures around to mitigate. We’ll get to those in a minute, but first the bottom line: Community Connect physicians are much less satisfied with their Epic experience, their implementations, and the resultant day-to-day use & support of the software than are those involved with a direct Epic install.
Why is that?
First, the implementation procedure that most end up receiving is a bare bones and subpar experience. Collaboration, partnership, visibility, and level of commitment/detail are frequently questioned by community partners. Secondly, the level of service and support they receive in an ongoing manner is frequently less than what they expect and need/desire.
So, what can be done to mitigate and address these problems? Healthcare Triangle does a number of things differently within our Community Connect service division, and we find it makes all the difference in the world.
- We start by having earnest conversations with the host organization about the relationships they are entering into with Connect partners. It’s important for the host to understand their impact, and the value that comes with solid communication, expectation setting, a bit of flexibility, and support on par with what their own staff expect and demand.
- The implementation procedure itself. We don’t just give staff a few hours here and a few hours there for basic discovery, build, & training requirements, we provide fully dedicated Epic resources and “white glove service” from kickoff to go-live (and beyond). We become trusted partners who every step of the way help to plan and keep appropriate interests and impacts in mind, while also being sensitive to the time commitments we require and need. And by allocating resources across the program instead of assigning hourly or individual implementation resources, we are able to provide an elite implementation service at a fraction of the typical cost. It’s a giant win on both sides of the fence.
- Finally there is ongoing support. Transitioning to Epic from another EHR (especially the smaller/simpler ones), can be a steep learning curve. It’s not just a milestone you reach and walk away from. Responding to issues and needs, providing direct system personalization assistance and continued support as questions arise, and making sure that the staff become proficient, and ultimately efficient, as quickly as possible is crucial to success.
The KLAS Arch Collaborative cites training as the #1 predictor of physician EMR satisfaction. But that label of “training” is so much more than just a required class or set of videos to review. It is the direct experience and assistance staff get in orienting to the system in ways meaningful to their daily work.
We have Epic teams engaged with a variety of clients in each of the major Community Connect arenas: Program Creation & Development, Implementation, and Post-Live Optimization & Support. We’ve also over the years become very accustomed to coming behind some of the larger Epic implementation firms to assist with service recovery and customer satisfaction issues. Essentially, we’ve become experts at setting the ship straight after what can unfortunately become a wayward and tumultuous journey without a proactive mind toward service & delivery. And when we come in to help, whether from the start of an engagement or to one well-established already, we don’t do so with an army of resources. We work strategically to provide the elite skills and experience you need at lower price points. Our goal is to truly create benefits in every element of the equation – cost, satisfaction/experience, near, and long-term success.
All part of the appeal sometimes in working with smaller, more tightknit partners, who chart a course with your interests in mind rather than their own.
If you are forging a path with Epic Community Connect, or have a program in place already that might benefit from renewed ideas and approaches, give us a call. Whether it’s Epic application analysts, “whitecoat whisperers” & customer liaisons, or senior Epic delivery managers, we’ve got the all the advice and experience your staff will thank you time and again for providing.