Anyone with experience of new Epic installation into a hospital?

  1. Hi everyone,

    I've just been offered a job as an Epic configuration analyst for a hospital that is going to be rolling out Epic EPR. However, I was also offered a place on an MSc in healthcare informatics at the same time. They're not really compatible together, it's either one or the other.

    So, I'm having a bit of indecision about the role as I was keen to move into healthcare informatics but i'm wondering if the role that i've been offered will be less analytics but more data entry. (I'm concerned about how you could progress from this role once Epic has been rolled out and the project is finished). So i'm stuck wondering whether it is worth postponing the MSc just to get Epic certification and experience of working with Epic?

    Would love to have a chat with anyone that had experience of working on implementing Epic into their hospital?
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   fusionfire32
    Hi,
    I am in an Informatics program and to be honest, EPIC certification currently is gold dust. I would give anything to get my hands on it. If you have a bit of experience in implementation, trust me, it will open a lot of doors for you. Going into informatics will be easy as you have some background in it. Informatics is not just about data but tailoring the system to our needs. The field is so vast that you can pick and choose. Your skills will be valued and you will come with a lot of valuable skills that you can offer. This is solely my opinion but postponing MSc is a good idea for a year or even 6-8 months. I would say get some experience under your belt and then move. It will expose you to project management and it is a big part of Informatics. The university will be able to postpone till the next enrollment but the job will not. Hope you find answers to your dilemma.
  4. by   ikarus7401
    Quote from Freya008
    Hi everyone,

    I've just been offered a job as an Epic configuration analyst for a hospital that is going to be rolling out Epic EPR. However, I was also offered a place on an MSc in healthcare informatics at the same time. They're not really compatible together, it's either one or the other.
    Seriously, this is not a brainer decision and I second fusionfire32's comment. Take the epic role. I know people who got their master's degree, and can't land jobs because the job market is so competitive. Yes, plenty of jobs, but at the same time, plenty of candidates out there so employers have gotten very very picky, as they want candidates with experience and then they want SPECIFIC experience.

    You have an offer to get your epic certification? Take it, and have no regrets. This will open many opportunutities later on. As far as the project being finished...well, kind of funny, but you will find out that there will always, always be something going on: upgrades, new functionalities being implemented, other solutions being implemented...etc.
  5. by   mmc51264
    I don't have the certification, but would love to get it. Also, as far I as I have experienced, EPIC is never ending. We had our go-live 3 years ago and just went through an update and there is constant optimization, fixes, changes. I am more interested in end-user work-working with the nurses to see what works adn what doesn't and then send recommendations to someone like you.
    I am working on trying to figure out how to get my organization to send em to get certified!
  6. by   Freya008
    Thanks everyone for getting back to me! I really appreciate the advice! I have decided to go for the job and hold off on the MSc for the time being.

    My gut instinct was to take the job but I got swayed by my brother who works in a IT project management in a medical technology company and had doubts about where this job would take me. I'm actually based in the UK and as of yet there aren't many hospitals here that have implemented Epic and not so many people that know about the software. I'm feeling pretty good about my decision and handed in my notice today :-)

    It's only because I plan on getting my US nursing license at some point and researching health informatics jobs that I found out how valuable Epic certification is!

    I suppose the $64 million dollar question would be - which Epic module is the most useful? Or does it really matter? I know i'll be working on the one that deals with clinical documentation, not sure which one that one is.

    In an all seriousness though, one final question; with regards to postgraduate education in healthcare informatics (as I intend to move to the States at some point after I get my license) How do people rate a Non US master's in informatics? From a purely practical point of view, a British MSc in healthcare informatics is substantially cheaper than an American MSN (£9,000 versus $50,000+). However, if employers are going to overlook it because it's not from a university they are familiar with, is there any point doing it?
    Last edit by Freya008 on Jul 13
  7. by   Freya008
    Thank you Ikarus7401! My colleague's response when I told her about it being a short term contract was 'well, then you make yourself indispensible!'
  8. by   fusionfire32
    Hi there,
    If you look at my profile, I am originally from London, UK and have moved here to the U.S.. Not sure what the UK program is like but understand this. US has had electronic health records for sometime. The technology is a bit more advanced here then back home in nhs. Here you will learn the current status of the EHRs and the difficulties faced worth integration and interoperability. So if you learn that, when you do decide to go back to UK, you will be more prepared to deal with issues. I am here now bit I will go back because the jobs that will open there, will be phenomenal. You will be in real demand. Not that you are not going to be in demand here but, out is hard to find jobs if you dont have the skill set. So $50,000 (Not sure what university that premium price) and mine is a premium program ($36000) is not a bad idea if you are going to get what you need. Especially nursing informatics.
    Hope you get your answers
  9. by   Freya008
    Hi Fusionfire,

    I didn't realise that you were originally from the UK? How long have you been over in the US for?

    The UK is fast catching up with the States in terms of EPR. Although, Epic is pretty small here in the UK with only 4 hospital having selected it. Cerner has more of a presence here in tertiary care.

    The MSN I was looking at was Duke and actually I misquoted. The figure is about $60k as it is $10k per semester and there are 6 semesters.

    I think there will be some great opportunities here in the UK at some point. And in truth, I'm hoping for that too. However, as you probably are aware our salary here is terrible and that is not going to change anytime soon. Our pay is capped at 1% increase when inflation is 3%. It's been like that for several years now.
  10. by   fusionfire32
    Yes. I am aware of the 1% cap rate. It's really hurtful. However, you got to look at a bigger picture. The benefits of working for nhs are more than you can imagine. I only realised that once I am here now, namely. It hurts me badly to give up my 8 week of holiday. If I am sick, I got to take my holiday hours to get paid. Most university courses related to your work are through your employer and the trust pays for it, not here unless it's a teaching hospital. But most importantly I miss the work life balance because I worked 37.5 there and 40 here. 8-6 in UK, here i work 630-7p +call. Plus I have to take call which I hate. Pay over life, I'll choose life. When you are new, you have to start all over, new friends, new culture, new people and their idiosyncrasies. But on the other hand, I learnt some really cool surgeries which I have never done before. I like that part. Nursing is nursing no matter where you go but technology and getting exposed to it has made me better. So when I go home one day. I well have an upper hand. And be in better position.
    I know you mentioned 9000 pounds for masters there in uk. I was searching and UCL came up. That is a great course too plus it's connected to imperial London. Had that course been there 4 years ago, i would have done that not knowing where else to go.
    Cerner just got a contract for all the VA hospitals here in the US, so besides epic, it is the largest EHR. With nhs, you will probably get only one system to have interoperability. But we need to watch that space because the trusts c.d.s. decide differently and we will end up with the same problems that we have here. Apples are not apples in different ehrs.

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