Cerner Vs Epic Pros And Cons : Which One To Go For?

Posted in Epic
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Last Updated | December 14, 2021

Overview

The introduction and expansion of electronic health records have brought significant benefits for the healthcare industry. These days, it is much easier to keep patients’ medical records safe and access them anytime.  HL7 integration development company with HL7 messages examples and medical software development companies have also enhanced the integration of healthcare applications to aid healthcare providers in maintaining the records of their patients anywhere through their mobile phones.

Tech makes things easier, but with the development of software solutions, the market is growing bigger and becoming more competitive. This leads to more and more solutions being developed and made available for healthcare organizations in the industry. In this competitive market where every best healthcare mobile app development company is bringing innovative solutions, two top-rated EHR solution companies, Epic and Cerner Software are at the top. Both provide EHR systems, EHR device integration, and UI design in healthcare.

What Is the Difference Between Cerner Vs Epic?

Both EHRs companies – Epic and Cerner- are cloud-based software development companies with a large market share across the healthcare industry. Whereas Epic covered almost 31%, Cerner held around 25% of the total EHR market share in 2020. Many of the largest healthcare organizations use Epic Software, while some others opt for Cerner.

Cerner is a more popular choice in clinical and ambulatory care, where Epic also aims to succeed with its innovative solutions.  The solutions they provide are quite similar. Both offer functionalities such as revenue cycle management, interoperability, mobile access, artificial intelligence, and telemedicine software development to save telemedicine software costs.

However, there are certain areas where their capabilities differ, such as:

  • Epic incorporates a CRM, and Cerner has no CRM.
  • Cerner provides consulting, whereas Epic does not.
  • While Cerner provides users with real-time data, Epic does not.

Cerner has been working for over 40 years, combining healthcare with information technology to connect more people and integrate more systems. It is focused on developing Ambulatory EHR solutions ideal for many practices, including speciality practices, urgent care centres, and group medical clinics. 

Cerner also ensures HIPAA compliance for software development and enhances the efficiency of organizations. Epic, on the other hand, is a software company that held 54% of medical records in the United States alone in 2015.

 Like Cerner, it has also developed an Ambulatory EMR platform, EpicCare, which incorporates the 10 components of medical records in a hospital. EpicCare is an ideal EHR solution for large organizations and practices with a multi-location presence. 

Epic’s solutions work well for hospitals looking for intuitive, secure, and efficient methods of handling electronic medical records.

Cerner Vs Epic Pros And Cons: Customer Support

Cerner Customer Support

Pros

  • Cerner has a support team committed to helping users understand its technical solutions and answer all their queries to ensure the best customer support. 
  • Cerner makes customer support even better by offering eService through its portal that is available 24/7. 
  • For the in-house implementation of the system, Cerner provides training to the existing staff to give them technical know-how.

Cons 

  • Cerner’s customer Service may become slow, and customers have to wait longer to get replies to their queries.

Epic Customer Support

Pros

  • Epic provides a team of technical experts who offer assistance through its contact number.
  • Epic’s support team follows up with users within 24 hours of the submission of the query.  
  • Through its newsletters, Epic keeps users aware of industry news and trends.
  • Whenever Epic updates its system, it shares the updated information with users by sending semi-annual email newsletters. 

Cons

  • Epic may not be very receptive to user-requested changes.
  • Some of the system’s operations require the support of a lot of its internal employees in the setup, which makes its customer support costly.

Cerner Epic Comparison: User Interface

Cerner 

Cerner provides a user-friendly dashboard that gives easy and secure access to the EHR. Cerner’s user interface design is responsive to mobile devices, which makes it easy for the users to use it anytime, anywhere. 

It has a “Chart Search” function which helps search different options. However, a user-friendly interface design does not ensure ease of use. Many users say that the Cerner system takes more time to do a simple task, so it is not intuitive to use. 

While with other EHRs, you may do worse, the Cerner system requires a decent amount of training to get the hang of it.

Epic

Epic’s developed system has many functionalities that can be accessed in more than one way, so users with no technical expertise can find it hard to scroll between numerous options. 

Using and navigating Epic software is not a child’s play. It certainly requires the assistance of the IT team for setting it up and troubleshooting. 

However, before you begin with the installation of the system, you have a margin to elaborate on what templates you want the system to have for your team and how customized you want it to be. So, as a healthcare organization, Epic gives you a competitive edge to decide how you want your EHR system’s UI to look.

Cerner Vs Epic: Nursing

Both EHRs do well in nursing, since their better performance depends on how an organization sets them up. However, many nurses state that Epic is the first choice of the hospitals where they work. 

For EMRs and electronic charting, hospitals also use Cerner, but the majority of nurses from large hospitals say Epic is relatively more user-friendly. While charting, Cerner does not allow them to look up anything else.

Whereas some other nurses report that they also find it easy to do their tasks using Cerner, Epic makes their work slightly more streamlined and efficient. That’s because Cerner may sometimes make locating and navigating the pages confusing.

Since Epic takes less time than Cerner to complete a task, nurses prefer to use the Epic system when they have patients with severe conditions or a heavy workload. Nevertheless, both play a crucial role in nursing. Since both Cerner and Epic work identically with spreadsheets like Excel, any nurse can easily learn to use either of them without learning additional skills.

Additionally, it is essential to state that both systems come with different functionalities, so their use and benefits for a healthcare organization differ depending on their use case. 

Cerner Vs Epic Merits And Demerits: Pricing Model

No matter what system there is, the prices vary widely from one to another. Pricing depends on the factors such as what features you choose and how many users will access the system.

Most healthcare providers from large organizations go with Epic. Since Epic has not revealed its costs yet, there is no specific known amount it costs.  However, the news in the market indicates that Epic is relatively more expensive than Cerner. Besides its other expenses, healthcare compliance consulting and HIPAA compliance audit services might become additional costs.

Possible pricing for Epic cloud-based EMR systems starts from $200/ month and can go as high as $35,000/ month, but this also depends on the different features offered. These include setup and training costs, however, some vendors may charge separately for training. By adding training costs, the charges may rise to around $2,000. 

For a self-hosted Epic EMR, the price may start from $1,200 and go up to $500,000 for large hospitals and clinics. Besides these prices, you can buy an Epic EMR at an upfront cost of around $1200 to $500,000 and more.

When it comes to Cerner’s pricing model, it certainly costs less than Epic. So, the cost of Cerner PowerChart Ambulatory EHR may start at $25.00/ year. Neither Cerner PowerChart Ambulatory EHR offers a free trial, nor does it have a free version. 

That means, without purchasing it, you get no trial for using it.

Opting for Epic is a costly choice, and Cerner costs a lot less than it. Since Cerner has no free trial or free version, you will need to invest in it before you get to know the system.

Cerner Vs Epic Strength And Weakness: Implementation And Installation

Implementation and installation cost millions of dollars. Epic’s cost for implementation and installation is much higher than other EHRs. 

Since the implementation of an Epic EHR is a challenging job, you cannot do it without an IT team. So, the major cost in the installation of Epic is added by the need to hire an IT staff. 

Before installing and implementing Epic, organizations need to establish and communicate their goals, strategies, and planning within their organization.  With so many things to consider, Epic implementation becomes an uphill task for organizations. However, if you are looking for a top-notch and comprehensive EHR solution, Epic is one of the best choices.

In contrast to Epic, Cerner uses Model Experience, its collection of best practices and strategies, to provide the best strategic recommendations for better implementation and installation. Its consulting team helps organizations understand their EHR and confidently adopt their new system.

So, to conclude, installing and implementing the Cerner system takes less amount and effort than Epic.

Cerner Vs Epic: Which is More User Friendly?

User-friendliness is the most important factor that can contribute to the success of any EHR in the market. Let’s compare Cerner and Epic to find which one is more user-friendly:

Cerner 

Cerner has a simple and user-friendly interface. It includes a patient portal that incorporates a protected, HIPAA-compliant messaging application. Cerner provides patients a safe platform to communicate with their providers, with options to ask questions and stay in touch with them to ensure they are following precise steps in their care plan. 

Since the system is user-friendly, patients find it easy to get online prescription refills. It also makes it fast to schedule virtual appointments. Therefore, nurses also prefer using Cerner for charting.However, certain pages in the portal at times baffle the users who find it hard to navigate.

Epic

Epic has put a lot of effort into designing and developing its EHR to ensure user-friendliness. Epic provides a patient portal that not only enables patients to schedule appointments but also allows them to view their health records securely. It also gives them information on how much a certain procedure may cost them. 

Moreover, both types of users- patients and providers- also get the advantage of making virtual consultation scheduling within the system. 

Despite Epic ensuring user-friendliness, many users report the system to be cumbersome. It often becomes hard to navigate options on Epic due to a large number of functionalities it incorporates. 

Since the needs of healthcare organizations require a simple EHR system, Epic’s complex design may make things difficult for healthcare users. 

Cerner Vs Epic: Integrations And Interoperability

Healthcare organizations require interoperability and integration to share databases with various other healthcare systems. The systems, Cerner and Epic, are privately-funded EHRs that promote fast healthcare integration resources. They help myriad systems connect and exchange data.

Cerner offers built-in integration and interoperability features. It strives to provide the best integration, for which it has built three different platforms that integrate. In connection to other external systems, they provide operational, clinical, and financial data. 

The Epic system helps organizations achieve integration between all their internal systems. It integrates the websites of healthcare organizations with its EHR and enables their patients to make appointments online, request prescriptions refills, view their test results, and access their data anytime. When it comes to interoperability, here is how both EHR systems differ:

Cerner

Cerner offers interoperability in multiple ways. One way is through CommonWell Health Alliance, the first and popular non-profit industry trade association that Cerner co-founded with its other six competitors. 

Using its set standards and policies, CommonWell Health Alliance enables the members to access and share their patient data easily.

In addition to this, Cerner facilitates Cerner Ignite APIs to enable integration between third-party applications and the EHR. Reference Lab Networks also helps Cerner users send data to various “acute and reference labs” without requiring them to make connections with each lab. 

Epic

Epic enables interoperability in three distinct ways. First, organizations can connect through EpicCare Link which allows non-Epic users to view patient information from an Epic user. It is like Dropbox or Google Drive, which give access to users via a shareable link.  Connecting Epic to the Carequality network is another way to share data. Since it is a public-private network that lets healthcare providers connect, it enables data sharing across the United States.

The third way is connecting to Share Everywhere. It is another interoperability feature that patients can use for sharing their health information with external providers. This feature allows providers to view patient data without using an EHR to connect to Epic.

Cerner Vs Epic Advantages And Disadvantages: Charting

Charting is used for viewing and reading patient data, including lab results. Cerner makes charting easy by making information easily accessible to nurses and saving their time to focus more on care delivery. 

While entering data, nurses can also check patients’ clinical status and ensure that best practices are available for them to get better patient outcomes. Nurses from various large organizations go for Cerner because it is the solution that provides them with all essential information on a single platform. It helps them spend less time charting and more on engaging their patients.

 Cerner charting includes documented data about a patient’s complete care process, procedures performed, diagnostic test results, medications administered, and the feature to communicate with healthcare providers.

Epic charting, on the other end, includes features like patient history, medical templates, and referrals to help healthcare providers deliver the best clinical care. Epic makes it easy for nurses to chart information and review it.

But, which hospitals use Epic software?

Epic is a popular choice in the American healthcare industry. Many of the top-rated US hospitals, such as Mayo Clinic, Rochester and Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, choose Epic EHR System for charting and keeping their patient records.

FAQs:

Is Cerner losing to Epic?

Though Cerner and Epic are competing innovatively to be on the top, Cerner saw a decline in its market share, as around 31 of the hospitals using it turned towards Epic in 2020. 

Is the Cerner same as Epic?

Both, Cerner and Epic are the best examples of excellent customer service in healthcare offering health information technology and EHR solutions. However, the organizations they serve are of distinct sizes and specialities, and their workflow experience also differs vastly. 

Are Epic and Cerner competitors?

Yes, Epic and Cerner are big competitors in healthcare. Both offer EHR solutions that cater to many large healthcare organizations.

HL7 vs FHIR: what is the difference?

FHIR is a next-generation standards’ framework developed by HL7. Both HL7 and FHIR support messaging, but FHIR also includes other functionalities like sharing of data across various systems. FHIR does this by using open web and restful web services technologies such as RDF data formats and JSON. 

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