After reading Anne Zieger’s post about an Epic investment that promoted a CIOs departure, I engaged with @LukeDeanNif on Twitter where we discussed the challenge a CIO faces with any large EHR purchase.
Luke keenly observed that a CIO departure could happen with any EMR, not just Epic. Although, I think there’s a bigger challenge when it comes to Epic. Sure, we like to say that “No one ever gets fired for choosing Epic” (a takeoff from the IBM quote). However, that’s not always the case either. In fact, Epic has the perception of successful installs at big name institutions. If your hospitals runs into issues with your EMR implementation, many will question your organization and not Epic for why it’s failed.
You can already hear Epic people saying “We’ve successfully implemented this in XXXX organizations. This must be a problem with your organization.” That’s right, it couldn’t possibly be the EHR vendors fault. At least that’s the story that will be told. Given this, I guess you could say that in some ways it’s more risky for a hospital CIO to choose Epic over other hospital EHR vendors.
One thing Luke and I agreed on is that it’s really easy for an EHR vendor to point the finger at the hospital organization instead of taking responsibility for any issues that may occur. I’m not saying that hospitals are never to blame. In fact, hospitals can often take plenty of the blame for network issues, commitment issues, physician issues, or just plan organizational resistance to change. In fact, I’d say that almost every EHR implementation has a few of these things. The problem I have is that EHR vendors far too often point the finger at the hospital when there’s a problem and they forget about the 3 fingers pointing back at themselves.