The Top 6 Considerations for Building a Tailored Epic EHR Support Team—and Generating End-User Satisfaction

Epic is an immensely beneficial yet complex technology. Most healthcare organizations implement Epic based on a 10-year investment, and along the way, they must offer continuous support in the form of a help desk, end-user training, and various optimizations. When building or enhancing an Epic support team, you should make the following six considerations, in order to generate consistent end-user adoption and satisfaction.

1. Understand your organization’s Epic-related needs.

You must intimately understand your organization’s needs related to clinical workflows, data sharing with external organizations, digital transformation plans, healthcare services, and more. You need a support staff with the desire to commit to these needs and the skills to enhance the technology to deliver on them.

2. Align with your organization’s projected growth.

Align with your organization’s strategic growth areas, particularly by employing support staff who have specific experience working with end users from the same or similar departments which are expected to grow. Their level of familiarity and ability to transfer clinical needs to technical updates will equip end users with what they need to accommodate growth.

3. Be prepared to scale up and down.

Keep flexibility top of mind. Your support staff should have a blend of full-time internal talent and temporary external talent. There are numerous benefits to this: first, with a blend of talent, you can better control costs and adhere to budgets, flexing up when project demands are high, and second, you can expand the knowledge of your team by bringing in and sharing new expertise and perspectives.

4. Determine your participation in Epic quality programs.

If you plan to focus on Gold Stars, for example, which measure how current you are with new Epic functionality, you’ll need the talent and bandwidth to reach your specific goals. Is that 8 stars, which is better than average, or 10 stars, which makes you one of the most highly-rated Epic clients? The same goes for Honor Roll, which measures the factors which contribute to end-user satisfaction.

5. Identify which certifications and trainings fit.

Proficiency in certain areas is essential for effective support. Ensure your support staff hold certifications and training in the Epic modules that are most relevant to your organization’s current usage and plans, and always encourage cross-training and additional certifications.

6. Think about your end users’ communication.

To some degree, clinicians and other end users dictate Epic optimization plans. Assemble your support team with communication in mind. Find understanding, tactful, and thoughtful communicators who can effectively listen to end users, help translate their recommendations into a build, and communicate changes back to clinicians.

From all six of these considerations, one overarching point is clear: When building a tailored support team, you must carefully consider the current state of Epic, and your desired future state of Epic.

According to Jason Kulaga, Practice Director of Medix Technology, “You really have to have a good idea of not just your current needs, but also the future needs of the organization.”

“How many optimization projects do you have in flight? What does your work queue of potential optimizations look like? Also, consider organization growth initiatives, especially if it involves adding on additional modules or expanding your Epic footprint.”

Here at Medix, we have 20+ years of experience advising hospitals and health systems on their Epic implementations and helping them staff their support teams. We’ve been brought on when clients have a clear Epic vision and support needs and also when clients are scrambling to find enough talent to simply run a help desk. Today, we offer two proven Epic staffing solutions, fitting for any point in your journey, that enable you to leverage Epic-certified talent at a lower cost compared to traditional 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.

Staffing and managing your Epic support team requires you to make many considerations about the current and future state of your technology, so that you can match certified talent to each state. The most impactful and cost-effective approach is to use a blend of permanent and temporary staff, giving you the flexibility to add specialized skills when necessary, while controlling long-term labor costs. As the push to use Epic to enhance care coordination continues, and budgets remain tight, the benefits of this approach are only magnified.

For much more on building a tailored EHR support team, watch Jason present our on-demand webinar, “Assembling a Tailored Support Team for Your Organization’s Epic EHR,” which is part of our Digital Healthcare Technology Virtual Summit.


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