An Epic EHR implementation is complex and time consuming, regardless of how well the planning phase goes, and how well the governance team executes the plan. It can take months or even years to complete and cost tens of millions of dollars. But the end result is a platform that reinvents a hospital’s or health system’s clinical workflows and patient data sharing. Its impact can be felt by leadership, end users, and patients alike.
Implementation’s End is Optimization’s Beginning
While there’s so much talk about implementation—and rightfully so—implementation is more of a beginning than an end. And it’s not just the beginning of routine maintenance and upgrades; it’s the dawn of ongoing EHR optimization, including enhancements around data, modules, workflows, and more. Continuous optimization is the only way forward, because if technology remains the same, then it’s not innovative—and it’s not competitive.
Once Epic is live across an organization, there’s a shift in staff and support. The amount of staff dedicated to implementation scales down, and the amount dedicated to ongoing support scales up. An organization must build a flexible EHR team to augment or partner with internal resources who can help train and support clinical staff and optimize the technology. This team can include the following Epic-certified professionals:
- Application Analysts
- Application Managers
- Application Trainers
- Business Analysts
- Business Intelligence Developers
- Epic Project Managers
- Technical Administrators
Reducing Costs in an Expensive Market
Building a qualified team is one thing; doing it under a strict budget in shaky economic conditions is another. Today, the Federal Funds Rate is over 5%, which has driven up the cost of borrowing money. Add in rampant inflation, and there’s valid concern about the feasibility of any technological transformation project. Having said that, the healthcare IT market is expected to triple in size in just a few years, and there’s relentless pressure to innovate.
For healthcare leaders, this begs the question: How do we build the Epic support team we need, but build it in the most cost-effective way possible?
The best way, and perhaps the only way, is to rely on flexible staffing. Because to quickly augment your workforce for projects related to optimization and support, you must have the right mix of full-time staff and temporary staff.
Medix Technology’s Flexible, Cost-Effective Epic Staffing Solutions
Here at Medix, we offer a variety of Epic EHR staffing solutions that enable clients to cost-effectively manage their workforces throughout the Epic lifecycle. For a medium to large health system, the annual cost savings can be up to $2,000,000 compared to traditional consulting.
For immediate project needs or “emergencies,” it’s important to be able to quickly bring on Epic-certified consultants. With less overhead, and by carefully matching the right level of talent with each role, we can offer significantly lower cost compared to traditional, outside consultants.
For hard-to-fill full-time positions, we offer MedixDirect, which sources non-certified local talent at a lower cost compared to previously-certified talent and consultants. We identify exceptional candidates, pay to have them certified, and they’re integrated into our client’s team within two months. This way, clients are building their own internal team, while saving up to 40%.
For the highest degree of flexibility, which allows healthcare organizations to confidently plan their annual project schedule, knowing they’ll have the workforce flexibility to reach their goals and stay within budget, our clients turn to MedixFlex. With MedixFlex, they take advantage of subscription-based, Epic-certified analysts with the right skills to match any of their needs at any time.
Here’s a direct cost comparison between traditional Epic consultants and a mix of MedixFlex and MedixDirect.
10 Traditional Epic Consultants
2,080 hours (one year) x $140/hour = $2,912,000 total estimated cost
5 MedixFlex Analysts and 5 MedixDirect Hires
2,080 hours (one year) x $110/hour for MedixFlex and $90/hour for MedixDirect = $1,846,000 total estimated cost
Total Savings with Medix = $1,066,000
Note – Equation based on MedixDirect Analysts converting to Client FTE at $0 charge after contracted billable hours.
Optimize Epic by Optimizing Your Team
Epic optimization never ends, and building a support team exclusively with full-time employees can be difficult to sustain. Today, budgets are too tight, and resource needs are too variable. It’s critical to rely on flexible staffing, to execute the most agile workforce augmentation possible, and to constantly align your people with your operational and capital budgets.
There’s almost always a direct correlation between flexibility and cost. The higher the degree of flexibility—complementing your full-time staff with experienced analysts and utilizing consultants only when they’re absolutely necessary—is your best form of cost control, particularly without compromising quality. You just have to find the right Epic-specific advisory and staffing partner to make it happen.