One way to describe the Epic App Orchard is as a healthcare developers’ dream. Epic’s development environment consists of a wide range of tools and services including sandboxes, testing, demo tools, APIs, and data models, as well as training, networking, technical, and marketing services.
Some of the biggest health systems in the world such as the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and Cedars-Sinai have adopted Epic App Orchard, but the software is equally preferred by doctor’s offices and small clinics.
Using Epic’s online gallery, health systems can find products that interoperate with Epic software, contact vendors to ask for product details, read and write consumer reviews, and more. Members can also enjoy learning and networking opportunities such as Programming for App Orchard. This two-part, two-day classroom training course teaches developers best practices for programming their products to work with Epic software.
To understand how effective Epic’s software is, you only need to know that the average customer has been using it for over ten years. Its impressive reach contains more than half of America’s medical patients. Many of Epic’s 5,000 coders and programmers often step away from their desks and into operating and recovery rooms, where they observe nurses and doctors at work, in order to get a thorough understanding of what their users are experiencing in the field.
Epic Health Tools and Resources
What convinced most hospital executives to invest in Epic’s healthcare software is its ability to manage a patient’s journey from start to finish. This means everything from simple to complex tasks can be achieved through Epic. A medical practice might use the software to schedule appointments, monitor vital signs, anticipate symptoms, calibrate drug dosages, handle bills, and much more. While typically known as an electronic health record (EHR) system, Epic has become a ubiquitous element of every aspect of the healthcare system.
Since being founded in 1979, the EHR giant has innovated in leaps and bounds. Last year alone, the company collected more than $3.3 billion in revenue. The number would have been even higher but the organization offered Covid-related software such as infection management tools and extensions to hospitals free of charge.
In 2017, Epic launched App Orchard, offering smaller organizations and entrepreneurs the chance to become part of a passionate community of healthcare leaders. The annual App Orchard Conference is proof that Epic’s initiative was well-received.
The 2020 event, while virtual, gathered a lot of interest from health systems and health IT vendors eager to learn best practices, development, and deployment strategies. During one coveted session, App Orchard members shared
their COVID-19 experiences and lessons, emphasizing the use of telehealth and virtual visits, as well as the best ways to engage patients with their community. This year, the conference will take place in early October at Epic’s Verona, WI Campus.
As more and more health systems see App Orchard as a legitimate approach to EHR integration, the program will continue to shape the healthcare landscape, one application at a time.