EHR Vendor Epic Launches Patient Communication Health IT

EHR vendor Epic recently launched new health IT, including a proactive patient communication tool and software for independent medical groups.

On the tails of several health IT launches, EHR vendor Epic is making even more moves that aim to enhance healthcare interoperability, according to reporting from

The EHR vendor recently launched its first-ever customer relationship management technology for health systems called Cheers.

Sam Seering, Epic product manager, told the news outlet that the health IT sends out a “proactive series of communications” to patients in Epic’s MyChart patient portal if a particular kind of care is needed, such as a cancer screening. Cheers communication can come in emails, text messages, or calls, he said.

Seering added that “dozens” of organizations currently use the tool and the EHR vendor expects a significant uptick in users over the next year.

The EHR vendor developed Cheers after several Epic customers requested capabilities to better connect with patients, especially as COVID-19 has strained health systems.

“There are a few main areas of focus that we have over the next few years native to Epic communication platforms so that organizations don’t have to contract with third-party vendors,” Seering said of whether to expect more launches like Cheers in the future.

Epic recently launched Garden Plot, a software-as-a-service (Saas) designed for independent medical groups looking to use Epic EHR tools.

Epic is also getting close to unveiling new software called Best Care for My Patient, allowing providers to research best care practices for patients using real-world data.

“We’ve always been really good at helping clinicians keep record of patient care,” Jacqueline Gerhart, Epic director of clinical informatics, told the news outlet. “What we are trying to do … is take that to the next level. It’s not just about having information, but using that information for good … from access to care, to figuring out the (health) ecosystem around the individual and bringing that all together.”

Cosmos, a dataset with over 135 million patient records, will populate Best Care for My Patient, Gerhart said.

Best Care has been in development for two years, and Gerhart said Epic expects to launch the tool in the next year to year-and-a-half, Gerhart said.

This week, the vendor said that it also has plans to continue expanding its Verona facilities as it hires more employees.

On Wednesday, employees moved into the vendor’s new Mystery facility with 350 office spaces. The company will open its 350-office Castaway building later this year, said Jim Schumacher, senior director of facilities.

Schumacher also said that the EHR vendor plans to add three more campuses in the next five years.

As COVID-19 has brought on a new cohort of workers looking for occupations that offer remote and hybrid work options, Schumacher said Epic’s campus provides a “home-type” atmosphere, promoting a “very collaborative environment.”

“The development teams need to be integrated,” he said. “The campus was built with that in mind. We are not a work-from-home campus.”

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