Epic is the top provider of electronic health record (EHR) systems in the U.S., currently claiming “31 percent of the hospital EHR market and 42 percent of hospital beds,” according to KLAS research. The company’s popular EHR software is modular by design, with three clinical modules (EpicCare Ambulatory, EpicCare InPatient, and EpicCare ASAP) and 24 ancillary products dedicated to various medical specialties (Anesthesia, Obstetrics, Radiology, etc.).
Epic deployments can help hospitals and healthcare facilities to securely share personal health information (PHI), extend capabilities to associated clinics and small practices, and integrate with other healthcare software products. The company lists more than 480 applications that interface smoothly with Epic EHR using application programming interfaces (APIs) to connect providers, pharmacies, labs, and payers. From registration and treatment through discharge and billing, Epic touches every aspect of the hospital workflow.
And it can do it all more effectively with cloud power.
Whether migrating an existing Epic deployment from a local data center to the cloud or switching from another EHR vendor to a cloud-enhanced Epic systems setup, there’s measurable business value in migrating Epic to the public cloud. Here are the top three benefits:
1. Reducing CapEx
On-premise data centers require constant maintenance and upgrades — capital investments that consume significant financial resources. Moving to the cloud eliminates massive swaths of expenditure because the cloud provider bears the entire cost of the infrastructure. Through a pay-as-you-go model, users pay only for the resources they use. Forrester Research reports up to a 40% reduction in capital expenditures due to cloud migration.
2. Averting outages
Public clouds are among the most reliable business services available. Availability is their bread and butter, so providers invest heavily in redundancy, rapid failover, and geographic dispersion — creating infrastructure more sophisticated and reliable than most healthcare organizations could ever hope to achieve on their own.
3. Strengthening security
Research published in Health Informatics Journal examined six years of data and found that nearly half (48.8%) of all hospital EHR downtime events involved cyberattacks. While no system can ever achieve absolute impenetrability, cloud providers simply have far more money to invest in cybersecurity than the average healthcare organization. By virtue of their size and ubiquity, cloud providers have seen and parried virtually every kind of exploit and attack strategy imaginable.
The biggest advantage of moving Epic to the cloud is that it frees hospitals and health providers to do what they do best — and outsource the rest. Healthcare organizations that embrace the cloud can better focus scarce resources, from executive staff to systems administrators, on initiatives that more directly improve patient care, employee safety, business growth, and profitability.
Overcoming migration challenges
The case for moving Epic EHR to the public cloud is obviously compelling, but it’s not a job for the uninitiated. The software will look the same to users whether it’s running on-premises or in the cloud, but it’s a lot different under the hood. Lift and shift migrations should be avoided when possible, since “systems that were not designed to run in the cloud usually don't take advantage of the features of cloud that hold the greatest potential for savings” — and that can result in costly overprovisioning. Epic EHR migration also involves a number of necessary ancillary functions such as disaster recovery, training, and development that must be addressed in planning which parts to migrate to the cloud, when, and in which order.
This is where managed service providers, like Cloudticity, come in. Virtually every published case study of a successful Epic EHR migration talks about the key role played by an MSP uniquely positioned to manage these complexities and guide the process. But choosing the right MSP is important. Many MSPs are generalists and not experienced migrating Epic workloads and managing PHI. To learn 10 tips for choosing the right Epic migration partner for healthcare, check out the free tip sheet. Or schedule a free consultation to discuss how we can help you move Epic to the cloud.