Posted on September 6, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I think we are familiar with the HUGE institutions that have selected Epic. The most famous of these is the Kaiser implementation of Epic which started at $1.2 Billion and was projected to cost $4 Billion. Yes, that is Billion with a capital B for an EHR implementation. I haven’t done any in depth research on the average cost of an Epic installation, but I can’t remember seeing one lower than a few hundred million at the least.

As I consider these numbers, the following question keeps nagging at me: What’s the ROI for an Epic installation?

Don’t get me wrong. I already know about the many EMR benefits. Although, billions or even hundreds of millions of dollars is a lot of money to make up.

The problem is that covering the EMR space as long as I have, I have yet to see someone do a ROI analysis of an Epic installation. If there’s one out there that I don’t know about, I’d love to take a look. Maybe Epic has some, but it’s part of their tightly controlled process for selling their EHR. Although, if the ROI was so good, it makes you wonder why they wouldn’t want that information in the public domain.

A part of me wonders if hospital CIO’s really care about the ROI of an Epic EHR install. Epic seems to be similar to what enterprises use to say about IBM: “Nobody ever gets fired for buying IBM.” Do many hospital CIOs see it as “Nobody ever gets fired that buys Epic”?