Always love a good puff piece... I'd actually been working on a post about this after seeing it last night....
It's strikes how the revisionist history is beginning to seep into Epic's narrative. The biggest re-write? Judy Faulkner, known far and wide for her views on health IT "interoperability", generally meaning "interoperability amongst Epic modules", as opposed to "interoperability amongst others in the healthcare system who may or may not have Epic". When we look at the whole of what Epic seems to be up to, it seems like the copy of the article is right out of Epic's PR department.
For instance take Faulkner's statements to Bloomberg News in 2009 that sharing medical records "doesn't work when you mix and match vendors. ... It has to be one system, or it can be dangerous for patients...", cited in a Washington Examiner about her curious appointment to the Federal health Policy comittee: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/2011/08/democrat-donor-gets-federal-health-policy-slot-despite-conflicts-interest#ixzz1jW9b0BKf
The statement was also cited in an article, quoted by +Neil Versel
from a BusinessWeek article, regarding Geisinger's woes with an Epic pilot, where full implementation of Epic was put on hold because of trouble ultimately traced to incompatibility between a common pharmacy database and Epic’s system.http://www.meaningfulhitnews.com/2009/05/23/vendors-this-is-your-wake-up-call/http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_18/b4129030606214.htm
I do give Epic a lot of credit for their work advancing the state of the art in health IT, but let's be honest about it... they are not necessarily in it for the good of the patients nor the system.
They are getting major adoption in the places where arguably the bulk of healthcare happens, in the ambulatory settings. This is knowledge, thanks to open approaches to sharing data, like CMS' attestation data you, yourself +Brian Ahier
have been so deftly sharing:http://ahier.blogspot.com/2012/01/data-on-meaningful-use-attestation.htmlhttp://www.govhealthit.com/blog/further-analysis-data-meaningful-use-attestation
... Great competitors, or preferential treatment? You Decide...
Interesting detail of the politics and "follow the money" can also be seen in the Washingtoon Examiner article I cite above:
"Since Obama's accolades and Faulkner's appointment to the policy committee, Epic has received a $14 million contract to implement new electronic medical record software for the Coast Guard. It is also vying for a contract for a massive expansion of the Veterans Administration's electronic medical records.
The VA is adamant that the resulting system be open source and interoperable, but five members of Wisconsin's congressional delegation recently wrote a letter to the VA's chief information officer stressing the importance of single-vendor electronic health record systems -- i.e., the type that Epic provides."
Now set it against the backdrop of the VA, VistA and OSEHRA, the new custodial agent which is workign to create an open source community around improvign and supporting VistA. The VA could be considered the most important pioneers of health IT, and the new OSEHRA project, truly turning VistA into an open source project and a viable Government-wide EHR for all of the stakeholders who need it (Military, Dept. of State, etc.), creates a viable competitor and Epic knows this. Otherwise why would the do whatever they can to torpedo it? In a Marcher 2011 article on by Bob Brewin on Nextgov.com, brought to my attention thanks to Open Health News and +Roger A. Maduro:
"Five members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation asked the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments to consider using a single commercial system for their new electronic health records, a move that could benefit one of the state's largest employers, software company Epic Systems Corp.
VA said it plans to stick with the open source approach it announced last month, but experts say the lawmakers' query could potentially delay the new system.
In a Feb 7 letter, the lawmakers asked top executives of the two departments if the benefits of a commercial system had received "appropriate consideration" in the modernization and integration of their electronic health records.
"Some experts believe that commercial EHRs show significant potential to provide a state-of-the-art replacement quickly and at a reasonable cost," wrote Wisconsin's two senators, Democrat Herb Kohl and Republican Ron Johnson, Republican representative Paul Ryan and Democratic representatives Ron Kind and Tammy Baldwin, whose district includes Verona, where Epic has its headquarters.
The letter added that single-vendor EHRs help protect patient safety by using one consolidated database. A commercial approach also could cut development and installation time, said the letter, which was addressed to Roger Baker, VA chief information officer, and George Peach Taylor of Defense."http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20110322_3673.phphttp://openhealthnews.com/blogs/ramaduro/2011-04-09/wisconsin-reps-trying-torpedo-vas-open-source-strategy
I think the whole thing raises questions, and it strikes me that the NY Times article is just so much PR puffery as to not warrant the ink nor electrons of which it has been rendered.