We recently attended the Epic App Orchard conference and for those of you who were unable to attend we thought we’d share what we saw.
1 – Epic’s ambitions for the App Orchard are clear:
Epic would like to have an ecosystem as robust as Apples App Marketplace where all of Epic’s clients can view vetted and approved applications that will help improve productivity and compliment Epic’s EHR. And it’s working. There’s been a 40% year-on-year growth in apps available in the orchard and that growth appears to be accelerating.
2 – Technical Service Representatives are key to roll out
Much of the focus of the conference was on how to make it through the approval process at Epic and how to use the various tools that Epic provides so that you can connect to their infrastructure. One thing that was emphasized again and again was “use your TS” which stands for Technical Support Representative”. Everyone who is building an app for the orchard is assigned a TS who will guide them through the process. It was striking how many people who have rolled out apps echoed this sentiment and how important the Technical Service Representative is in the process.
3 – A path towards Interoperability
For those of us who have heard the Epic first, Epic only rhetoric, it was a breath of fresh air to see so many Epic employees fostering cooperation and interoperability opportunities. Epic is rolling out a product they call Tesseract that is specifically designed to help roll out across systems. And many of the apps focused on interoperability.
Epic was clearly listening to its marketing place partners (like CareAlign) as they were asking what we needed and what types of APIs and integrations we could use. And they were actively adding it to their roadmap even as we were talking to them.
As we sat around outside the Klingon conference room discussing what we learned, it did appear that Epic would like us to live long and prosper.