The EMR we want vs the one we are stuck with

 Ready for an Epic journey ©2016 Rob Schertzer

Ready for an Epic journey ©2016 Rob Schertzer

The journey continues. Now it's time to continue the process of optimizing a dog of an EMR program. It is not the EMR anyone actually wanted but it's the one we are stuck with. I am not in the minority with this opinion.  There are only two enterprise-wide solutions that are serving almost all of the hospitals in America: Epic and Cerner. Epic tends to be in more of the larger hospitals and Cerner in smaller ones. Last month I attended the first of two courses on basic Epic programming. I am now returning to the scene of the crime for a course on programming "Kaleidoscope," the ambulatory Ophthalmology portion of Epic. 

There are a number of excellent EMR programs for Ophthalmology and Optometry practices. Epic is not one of them. It was meant for in-patient care as a database management system and works well for ICUs and Emergency Departments. The Ambulatory experience pales in comparison in terms of usability. Here it is more of a programming platform than an out-of-the-box solution. Eventually it will get there and Kaleidoscope 2015 is already available with more features coming with the standard build. However, you need to have your hospital up to date with Epic 2015 in order to get most of these features so for now, it's still a matter of heavy customizing. Hospitals do not upgrade each year as there are always risks of extra down-time fixing the damage created by each major update. I'm looking forward to learning how I can make a difference over the next three days here in Verona, WI at Epic headquarters. Stay tuned for more.