Guide to Epic! Epic EMR vs. Cerner EMR: Features & Reviews in 2021

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Epic EMR vs. Cerner EMR: Features & Reviews in 2021

Not sure if Cerner EMR or EpicCare is the right solution for your healthcare organization? To understand which one caters to your unique requirements, you should evaluate various aspects feature by feature and consider their costs and conditions. Both these solutions own almost 50 percent market share for acute care hospitals in the United States. Cerner and Epic are acclaimed for their oncology-specific solutions. They are regarded as the best Oncology EMR Software systems for offering greater department efficiency and help in improving the quality of care. 

They dominate the EHR market and provide different workflow experiences and serve audience segments of different sizes. There is very little room for forgiveness with these big, costly systems when it comes to choosing the right one for your organization. This article offers a comprehensive comparison to help you decide between the two products, discussing their features, costs, and implementation process. We aim to help you choose with confidence, but it is suggested that you keep in mind the nature and size of your medical facility. 

Cerner EMR – An Overview

Cerner offers a cloud-based EHR solution to cater to clinicians in ambulatory facilities and hospitals. This software comes with built-in templates to cover multiple specialties. It automates the everyday clinical tasks of a healthcare practice’s workflow, including documenting diagnoses and medications. PowerChart supports coordination between various locations and practitioners to help practice staff manage medical record processes. Its Oncology EMR solution can be integrated into a medical facility’s existing medical software, which enhances the single patient electronic health record to include oncology. 

Cerner mainly caters to smaller practices and also offers a practice management system that enables clinical staff to manage scheduling and billing procedures. It serves around 40 specialties with a simple recording that allows healthcare experts to improve patient care. In addition to this, the software enables physicians to see more patients on a given day, thus increasing revenue and overall quality of care. 

Epic EMR – An Overview

Founded in 1979, Epic EHR software offers advanced healthcare solutions to doctors of more than 30 specialties. This system caters to the needs of community hospitals, academic medical centers, rehab centers, and retail clinics, among other medical practices. As of now, more than 250 million patients have their records saved in Epic software. 

Epic Systems’ EpicCare offers an electronic medical recording (EMR) system for large health systems and hospitals. Certified for Meaningful Use Stage 1 and 2, this solution is developed, implemented, and supported by an in-house team of experts. It comes with dedicated modules for various specialties, including cardiology, oncology, ophthalmology, rehab surgery, and more. Modules include dashboards that display and combine financial and clinical matrix as well as customizable templates. Its oncology-specific solution decreases clinical documentation time, controlling health costs, and providing data for clinical research.

It includes telemedicine services that are used for patient monitoring and ongoing patient care. Moreover, Epic offers smart tools for Artificial Intelligence and analytics to streamline the decision-making process. 

Strength & Weakness for Epic

Strengths 

    • A versatile suite of solutions is offered that cater to all functions within a medical practice. Routine software upgrades ensure that Epic EHR is up to par with industry trends. 
  • Epic EHR software features an easy-to-use interface that is simple and self-explanatory. 
  • Complete medical histories of patients are available with a few clicks. 

Weaknesses

  • Customer support is not responsive when it comes to considering and implementing user-requested features and suggestions. 
  • While the software is user-friendly, it can difficult for doctors initially to get hands-on with the system. 
  • The interface could be made more aesthetically appealing. Moreover, the lack of customizable features is a source of concern for users.

Epic EHR Software – Price 

The starting price for Epic’s self-hosted solutions is $1,200. Some users have even reported that the cost for large medical practices and hospitals is around $500,000. However, no free trial is offered for the ease of potential clients. 

Epic EHR Software – Top 2 Features 

  1. Cloud-based solutions 

Epic EHR is hosted on the cloud. What does this mean for your medical practice? You can operate the software from any location and time – provided there is an active internet connection. Moreover, the system can be used on any device connected to the internet. Hence, lowering the need for you to invest in costly hardware.

  1. Heightened patient engagement 

MyChart is Epic EHR software’s portal to improve patient engagement and convenience. It can be accessed online or installed as an app hosted on Android and iOS. Patients and their loved ones can use the portal to communicate with doctors, read discharge summaries, schedule appointments, access educational content, and complete any questionnaires. 

Just like its name, Epic EHR software is genuinely epic. A vast array of advanced features are offered for the convenience of doctors of more than 30 specialties. While users love the versatility and ease of use, they are concerned about the lack of customizable features.

Difference between Cerner and Epic EMR

Cerner and Epic both offer EHR and health information technology solutions, but they serve healthcare organizations of different workflow experiences and sizes. Both are providers of cloud-based software solutions for ambulatory and acute care, though Epic caters to larger healthcare organizations. When it comes to small practices and clinics, most medical experts go with Cerner. Neither vendor shares pricing details publicly, but the news available online indicates that Epic is more expensive than Cerner. However, this also depends on how you plan implementation. Let’s explore further how these EHRs differ from each other.

Ease of Use

  • Cerner

It offers an aesthetically pleasing graphical user interface (GUI), but user reviews do not confirm their ease of use. Some reviewers report long, repetitive processes for even simple tasks, with many complaining that the system is not so intuitive to use.

  • Epic 

It may not be as aesthetically pleasing as Cerner, but reviewers feel that it offers good ease of use. This EHR is intuitive, enabling clinic staff to figure out how to conduct tasks efficiently without having to go through extensive training.

Interoperability

  • Cerner

This solution supports interoperability in multiple ways. The most appreciated is through CommonWell Health Alliance. This not-for-profit industry offers a set of policies and standards to make it easier for members to access and share patient data.

  • Epic 

Epic also supports interoperability in several ways. However, it has not joined CommonWell Health Alliance for this purpose. It is still making efforts to improve in this regard.

Implementation

  • Cerner

User reviews show that Cerner does not have a good record when it comes to a smooth and successful implementation. For the installation, users get a handy task list that helps them to execute everything they require. 

  • Epic

Just like Cerner, Epic does not enjoy a good reputation when it comes to finding under-budget implementation. The installation process costs its users millions of dollars, and users feel they often end up spending more than expected. They are required to hire additional IT staff for installing the system, which is a big concern as it increases the expenditure involved.

Which One EMR to Choose?

This entirely depends on your practice size and budget. Cerner is only able to accommodate hospitals that have 100 to 250 beds, whereas, Epic can go beyond that limit. If you’re still not sure whether Cerner or Epic is the best Oncology EMR for your practice, you can look for reviews and tutorials on FindEMR and save hours on researching other vendors.

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