Andy Manis for The New York Times
The campus of Epic Systems, the electronic health records supplier, in Verona, Wis. Its reputation as a creative place to work draws programmers who might otherwise go to high-tech giants.
Minh Uong/The New York Times
THE push to move the nation from paper to electronic health records is serious business. That’s why a first look at the campus of Epic Systemscomes as something of a jolt.
A treehouse for meetings? A two-story spiral slide just for fun? What’s that big statue of the Cat in the Hat doing here?
Don’t let these elements of whimsy fool you. Operating on 800 acres of former farmland near Madison, Wis., Epic Systems supplies electronic records for large health care providers like theCedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the Cleveland Clinic, and Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, as well as health plans like Kaiser Permanente and medical groups like the Weill Cornell Physicians Organization in New York. In fact, Epic’s reputation as a fun-filled, creative place to work helps draw programmers who might otherwise take jobs at Google, Microsoft or Facebook.
Epic supplies software, systems, training and support so its customers can manage their data. As far as the general public is concerned, it operates far under the radar. Yet it helps keep track of 40 million patients, alongside a handful of large software companies and hundreds of smaller firms that have emerged to digitize health records.
Unlike some of those firms, Epic is no newcomer. Judith Faulkner, the chief executive, started the company more than 30 years ago, when, in all but a very few places, patient records were kept on paper. As such, she has a long-term view of the nation’s struggle to digitize medical records.
Ms. Faulkner understands why it’s taken much longer for the health care industry than, say, banks and airlines to move to...
Full article: Digitizing Health Records, Before It Was Cool
Jan 14 2012 submitted by Alison Brown