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Epic Upgrades Epic Events

After years of research and planning, thousands of hours of work, several sleepless nights and a significant monetary investment, you successfully implemented the electronic health record that would forever improve your organization’s delivery and documentation of patient care and your clinicians’ workflows.  You survived the rush of go-live and successfully navigated the barrage of stabilization and optimization tickets.  Your end users have worked through their fear of change, fear of the unknown and uncertain futures, to become fully functional, happy users of an electronic health record.  And just when you think it’s safe to take a breath, you’re faced with the sobering reality that it’s now time for an Epic Upgrade.

After everything you’ve just gone through, an upgrade can’t be that bad, can it?  It’s just an upgrade, right?  It’s not like you must undergo an entirely new implementation, right?

While numerous customer-specific reasons support when or why an upgrade should be adopted, the bottom line is that upgrades are not optional.  Epic’s Support and Maintenance agreement generally requires that their customers be no more than one version behind the current released version.

Epic continually invests in the ongoing development of its application suite.  Each upgrade brings changes that provide new features and modules, a new look and feel to screens and data displays, fixes for known issues, and more efficient ways to enter or review data.  As technology advances, Epic also modifies the underlying architecture to use these improvements to streamline database management & monitoring, generate faster and more robust processing, enhance the storage capacity, and so much more.

This paper discusses some of the key factors necessary for achieving a successful epic upgrade and shares some potential risk areas to the project.

The same five-phased approach that most customers utilize during an initial Epic implementation should be replicated for an upgrade.

  • Planning
  • Build
  • Testing
  • Training
  • Go-Live Preparation & Support

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