Have you been through an Epic Go Live?


How was it? Do you like Epic? Anyone work for the epic training team?

klone, MSN, RN

14,406 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.

I've been through two Epic go-lives, actually. The second time, a year ago, I was a superuser and had to wear a fluorescent orange polo for the entire first week so that other employees could recognize me as a go-to person.

It was fine - the first two weeks were the hardest, and the really, the first couple months definitely had a learning curve for everyone. Random stuff would pop up now and again for everyone. You get through it and everyone survives.

I was also a SME and got to be a part of developing/fine-tuning the OB portion of the software for our facility - that was cool.

Specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab. Has 6 years experience.

Super user also here for ED, Cath lab and IR. The first month was awful. Cath lab and IR get no love from the epic team and you can clearly see they have no idea what they are doing. But we had a great support person who really listened to us and helped us through it. Our company had 3 waves of go live and I participated in 2 of them and went to numerous hospitals. Was a lot of fun.


603 Posts

Has 20 years experience.

I've never been through a go live, mercifully. I am an EPIC user, though, and I will say that it makes a HUGE difference in how well it goes over depending on who is doing the teaching and who is doing the learning. E.g., someone who is very computer literate and familiar with shortcuts, etc., versus a learner/teacher who is not.

At the hospital where I learned EPIC, I was taught (in addition to classroom time) by a lot of younger, 20 something nurses, and that worked strongly in my favor. Let's call a spade a spade: the millenials have an edge when it comes to technology, and are fantastic at learning to use it seamlessly. Bless those younger nurses, they got me up and running on EPIC pretty independently in about a week.

I'm a Gen Xer so I can hold my own with technology just fine, but it really does help to have a lot of tech savvy folks around who can teach you all the shortcuts right there in the moment.

Double-Helix, BSN, RN

1 Article; 3,377 Posts

Specializes in PICU, Sedation/Radiology, PACU. Has 12 years experience.

I've been through a Cerner Go-Live at my previous facility and a mini Epic Go-Live when my unit transitioned from our former platform to Epic Anesthesia. Though not a credentialed trainer, I am pretty heavily involved in education and build design on my unit. During the Cerner go-live, I was non-clinical every day and only on the unit to provide support with the EMR.

Epic is pretty customizable. I really like the system (better than Cerner) and I appreciate that many screens can be modified to the preferences of the unit or, sometimes, the individual. Like any EMR, there are some annoying quirks, but they are manageable. I agree with the others, the first month is the most difficult. After that, people begin to adjust and stop fighting the new system. There's usually a ton of support from the Epic IS team during a go-live, with an on-site command center to address issues in real time.


411 Posts

Thank you for responding! Anyone know how far in advance a Trainer should be trained before Go Live? I appreciate all of your input. I have some very strong red flags popping up in my brain. My current employer has asked me to be a trainer for epic and I have never laid eyes on it. I am good with technology and a superuser on our current emr, but the "go live" is in September and they expect us to start teaching peers in June. I still would have to give my 1 month notice before I could start. I am obviously concerned that I can not get up to speed in time or "expert" enough to teach. How am I to teach what I do not know yet? They will certify us, but not until after go live, because they don't have time now. I am concerned that my facility has left all of this to the last minute and someone will end up blamed if it doesn't go well. I would love the opportunity to try something new, but feel like this might be getting set up to fail. OUr last "Go Live" was a total disaster, a bunch of IT people got fired, and now less than 2 years later we seem to be making the same mistakes all over again.


1 Article; 4,787 Posts

Specializes in Pediatrics Retired.

It's gonna be a cluster you-know-what. The problem is the darn patients still needing to be cared for and become such a distraction! ;) Our facility went live during the height of the swine flu scare a few years ago. That's gotta be the dumbest decision I've ever seen but it exemplifies the disconnect between IT and taking care of the patients.

klone, MSN, RN

14,406 Posts

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership. Has 17 years experience.

In the go-lives I've done, the trainers start training about a year before go-live, with everyone else being trained about 4-6 weeks prior.


280 Posts

Specializes in CICU, Telemetry. Has 7 years experience.

Went through one in 2014. The first day was a giant cluster, as with any change this major. My floor biffed up pretty badly and they decided all our super users should be baby boomers, and no offense to you guys, because I've learned a LOT from you about patient care over the years, but you HAVE to use your resources. Send tech savvy people to be super users on the technology.

EPIC is pretty intuitive, and if you're okay with technology, it'll be a breeze compared to any other charting system. It literally cut my total charting time down to less than 15 minutes per patient per shift including notes and care plans. I started having HOURS of free time every night. I actually took up coloring books I was so bored.

So long and short is YES, they train you way too long before you ever even encounter EPIC that you've forgotten EVERYTHING. This is where being tech savvy comes in. You just have to wing it a lot of the time, but you have to wing it with confidence because you're going to have to teach others how to do it. Problem is, given how many people they need to train, they have to start months in advance to get through everyone. They'll give you packets and crap that go through how to do everything screen by screen, we were encouraged to keep our training packets/booklets for go live, which was a good suggestion. That packet saved me more than a few times.

Specializes in Critical Care and ED. Has 34 years experience.

I work for Epic and have been through many Go Lives. It is always a challenge and a learning curve for users but the attitude with which one approaches the Go Live makes a world of difference. If you anticipate it to be awful it probably will be, but it's a good tool and can be helpful, but it just takes getting used to. If you go into it with an open mind, and anticipate that it's new and different, you'll have an easier time. Use your support staff to show you tips and tricks because they'll become very useful once the support staff have gone.

I think it's unfair to say that the Epic team "have no idea what they're doing". I wish you could understand the sheer amount of work it takes for an informatics team to produce a successful Go Live. The thing about Epic is that it's not the same at every facility as it's built out for that individual facility from the foundation system. Therefore, the Go Live support team that are on the floor are facing that version of Epic for the first time the same as you are, and as they likely didn't build it, they might not know every single little thing about what and how you need to see data that day. The actual builders and analysts are usually sitting in the command center trying to fix build issues as they arise, and the people you see on the floor are contracted support staff trying to help you navigate through the system. Epic is a hugely complex and detailed interface. It's not possible to know every single thing about every single aspect, and if you have a question about something, it could have been built by any number of different teams. If you ask someone who built the cardiology documentation about the ambulatory piece, they might not know the answer, but they can find out. Epic is built in many pieces by specialized teams and it has to come all together as one single interface.

Sure it's frustrating in the beginning when it's unfamiliar but in the end you'll see how useful a tool it is.

As a trainer you won't be certified as such, as that's reserved for analysts like myself and requires three trips to Epic headquarters to do courses and take three exams. Only then can you become certified in a specific specialty. You will be credentialed as a trainer, and will be working off strictly scripted tip sheets teaching specific workflows that will be outlined for you. You just have to become familiar for that specific workflow for the area in which you work.


2 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

Am looking into doing the Epic Go Live Support, and i really wish to get myself advanced in Epic and get certified. Am currently working as a nurse for over a year, and want to switch to health IT, Epic most preferable. Can anyone please put me through or mentor me through this career shift.


2 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

Am looking into doing the Epic Go Live Support, and i really wish to get myself advanced in Epic and get certified. Am currently working as a nurse for over a year, and want to switch to health IT, Epic most preferable. Can anyone please put me through or mentor me through this career shift.