The process of customizing Epic hospital software is an investment that will pay dividends in the foreseeable future. A platform tailored to the requirements of a hospital not only streamlines administration, but also patient care. But customizing Epic medical software requires extensive insight about Epic’s software systems. OSP brings nearly 15 years of expertise in healthcare technology and has undertaken numerous projects with Epic software for hospitals. Let’s discuss the process of customizing it for specific needs.
Step-by-Step Process to Customize Epic Hospital Software
Epic systems is among the biggest healthcare software companies in the United States. The company’s broad array of medical solutions offers hospitals and clinics plenty of choices for customization. Let’s talk about the process of modifying an Epic hospital information system:
1. Determine the Business Need
The process of customizing Epic medical software needs to begin with a thorough understanding of the needs of the organization. However, determining the needs may not be limited to knowing the existing operational workflows. Hospitals and larger clinics may have varying workflows based on the kind of services they offer and would likely need seasoned Epic consulting services. This helps the medical organizations know what Epic has to offer and how those can be implemented.
Technical consultation about Epic software for hospitals involves a thorough assessment of the needs and an in-depth advice on all the available choices. Based on the choices and the need, an outline of the system can be drawn up to proceed with the technical phase.
2. Engage With Epic Implementation Experts
The determination of the requirements is followed by the development of a plan to carry out the customization and implementation. The plan is formulated by experts who have experience with Epic integration and customization. This is a technical phase in which the existing systems are assessed and the plans for customization are finalized.
The plans may be discussed with the hospital administration for the final time, who may offer further inputs or make inquiries.
3. Epic Hospital Software Configuration
After the requirements are known and the plans finalized, it is time to begin configuring the software platform. The needs of the organization dictate the list of features and the interface of the Epic hospital information system. In addition to the features, the middleware and the APIs too are developed to facilitate interoperability. Healthcare software interoperability allows the system to exchange data with other software platforms. This streamlines all the administrative and clinical workflows at the hospital.
4. Integration and Testing
The customization of the Epic hospital management system is followed by its integration with the existing software platforms. An EHR integration ensures that medical data flows freely among systems across the organization. The software customized for the organization is tested individually, then integrated with the existing systems. Subsequently, the entire integrated system is tested to check if everything works as intended.
In addition to testing the functionality and features of the platform, there are tests conducted to check the security and compliance as well. These tests are carried out against established criteria to ensure the privacy and integrity of sensitive data during operations. Any violation of regulations can result in serious legal consequences.
5. Continuous Improvement
Following the implementation, integration, and training, the application would need timely update to ensure it can be used without hassle. Updating the software ensures it is less prone to technical glitches or crashes.
Benefits of Customizing Epic Hospital Software
There are many reasons for customizing Epic computer software for hospitals. It is an investment that will yield major returns in the long run. Let’s look at some of the benefits of customizing Epic’s systems:
1. Improved Efficiency
The Epic medical software would be customized according to the needs of the hospital and its features and functions would reflect existing workflows. As opposed to a generalized set of features from an off-the-shelf solution, a custom solution would be quickly adopted by the staff, eliminating the need for elaborate training sessions. The result would be an immediate improvement in the efficiency of workflows, which will be experienced across the hospital.
2. Improved Compliance
Customizing Epic hospital software according to specific needs helps comply with regulations better. The platform and all its features and functions would be better matched with existing workflows, which will allow the hospital to implement the best security protocols that suit their operations. This maximizes the data security level and helps them mitigate risk in the best possible way.
3. Accommodate Future Expansion
A health information system tailored to the needs of a hospital can be scaled to accommodate evolving needs in the future. This mainly includes the adoption of third-party medical solutions and emergent technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. The best part – this expansion can be carried out without hindrance to day-to-day workflows.
4. Improved Interoperability
Hospitals with Epic software customized for their needs will find it easier to integrate them with existing systems, compared to an off-the-shelf solution. The process of customizing happens only after an assessment of existing IT infrastructure, which would make it easier for the platform to be interoperable.
Essential Considerations When Developing Custom Epic Hospital Software
Developing a customized Epic hospital software requires the organization to consider important factors. Let’s talk about some of them:
Understanding the Interoperability Standards
The custom Epic solution must be able to exchange data with other health systems securely. Interoperability enables two or more medical software to exchange and use data despite being developed using varying languages and data formats. So, knowing interoperability standards like FHIR and HL7 is a must when building such a platform.
The solution must ensure security, integrity, and privacy. The process of developing a custom Epic hospital software must adhere to regulations like HIPAA, which stipulate a minimum level of data security. In the event of system breaches or data loss, if the software violates regulations, there can be severe legal consequences for the organization using it. Security is a major factor to consider when building any custom healthcare software.
Customizing Epic Hospital software is based on catering to specific needs. So, it is important to comprehensively analyze existing workflows before developing a custom Epic health system. This will ensure that the platform reflects the hospital’s needs, enabling the staff to get acquainted sooner.
The Epic hospital software being developed needs to be able to accommodate future technological expansions. As the years pass, the hospital might evolve and roll out new services, which need to accommodate newer systems and features. The design of the Epic hospital software should consider this to prevent the need for any major overhauls.
Best Practices For Custom Epic Hospital Software Development
Developing an Epic hospital system tailored to specific requirements involves several considerations. So, it is good to follow established best practices for development. Let’s explore some of them:
Understanding the Ecosystem
Developing a custom Epic hospital system requires a complete understanding of the Epic ecosystem. It is bound to have numerous features and functionalities for developers to navigate and finalize the best-suited platform. Knowledge of the nuances can enable developers to ensure that the platform can be integrated with other solutions in the organization.
An intuitive design helps users navigate the solution and all its features without hassle. This is essential for a hospital since the staff would need to be able to use the platform every day for all operations. An interactive interface makes it easy for everyone to use the platform and get acquainted with it quickly.
Engage with Epic Implementation Experts
Engaging with Epic Implementation Experts is key for customizing Epic Hospital Software effectively. These specialists offer invaluable knowledge and experience in implementing Epic solutions translating your hospital’s requirements into actionable customization plans. OSP’s team of Epic experts can collaborate with open communication and discuss your unique challenges and objectives. We will recommend configurations, workflows, and integrations aligned with your clinical and administrative processes.
Integration and Interoperability
Integration and interoperability are critical in custom Epic Hospital Software Development. Integration connects Epic software with other healthcare applications, facilitating data exchange and reducing manual data entry. Interoperability ensures seamless collaboration among healthcare IT systems, even from different vendors. Customization may involve creating interfaces, APIs, custom connectors, and data standardization to maintain consistency. Collaboration with our IT experts ensures robust integration and compliance with healthcare regulations.
Testing is essential to determine if the platform functions as intended. Testing is carried out against rigorous criteria according to industry best practices. This ensures that the solution will function under realistic circumstances reliably. Moreover, the testing also involves assessing the security of the software to know if it is safe against data breaches or accidental data leakage. This is essential for it to comply with regulations.
A customized Epic hospital software will serve the needs of the organization better than a generic solution. At a time of rapidly evolving software technologies and newer innovations in artificial intelligence, it might be harder for off-the-shelf solutions to accommodate the changes. In light of this, having a health information system tailored to specific needs can prove beneficial in the long run.
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Written by Riken Shah linkedin
Riken's work motto is to help healthcare providers use technological advancements to make healthcare easily accessible to all stakeholders, from providers to patients. Under his leadership and guidance, OSP Labs has successfully developed over 600 customized software solutions for 200+ healthcare clients across continents.