Hospital CEO to Epic: Stop blocking innovation, open up your platform

But the EHR giant counters that hundreds of companies participate in its developer program.
By Bernie Monegain
02:52 PM
Epic EHR

James Hereford, president and CEO of Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services, a nonprofit integrated care system based in Minneapolis, is calling out EHR giant Epic Systems for standing in the way of innovation.

“I will submit that one of the biggest impediments to innovation in healthcare is Epic, because the way that Epic thinks about their [intellectual property] and the IP of others that develop on that platform,” Hereford said during the panel discussion hosted by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.

Hereford, who called for a march on Madison, Wisconsin, a city about 10 miles from Epic headquarters in Verona also complained Epic had “architected an organization that has its belief that all good ideas are from Madison, Wisconsin. And on the off chance that one of us think of a good idea, it’s still owned by Madison, Wisconsin,” the paper reported Hereford as saying.

[Also: Epic says App Orchard now open for business]

He suggested that organizations get together and say to Epic, “Look, you have to open up this platform.”

That would enable an ecosystem of innovation to benefit everyone who is cared for by clinicians using Epic, he added.

[Also: PeraHealth brings clinical surveillance tools to Epic's App Orchard]

It’s not the first time Epic has been accused of operating a closed system – one that does not interoperate with other EHRs.

Epic spokesperson Meghan Roh countered that Epic’s system is open and third-parties are putting it to use.

“We are excited about the hundreds who have joined our developer program, as well as the many whose innovations are now available on the App Orchard,” Roh said.

The App Orchard is an online store that enables software developers to sell their Epic-compatible apps.

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