Judy Faulkner: Criticism that Epic system stymies interoperability 'unfair'

Responding to criticisms that Epic's electronic health record systems are closed and, thus, difficult to integrate with third-party vendors, CEO Judy Faulkner, in a rare interview granted to Forbes, called such accusations "totally wrong."

In fact, Faulkner referred to Epic as "the most open system I know," saying it's designed as a database management system.

"Database management systems need to allow their users to mold it to what they need," Faulkner told Forbes. "We interface with speech recognition, imaging, medical devices, lab, patient education content, user authentication and hundreds of different vendor systems."

Faulkner said claims that the company does not value interoperability are "unfair," adding that Epic systems were interoperable before government regulation came into play.

She also took a jab at the recently formed CommonWell Health Alliance in the Forbes interview.

Faulkner raised concerns about CommonWell at a Health IT Policy Committee meeting last month, saying that not initially being invited to be part of the alliance caused her to have doubts about its motives.

"What is it?" Faulkner, a policy committee member, asked rhetorically at the meeting. "Is it a competitive business? Is it a service? Will it be favoring those who started it and using those who did not start it as the means to feed the business? What components of business will be in it? Will it sell the data? Will there be patents?"

Shortly after the alliance's launch at HIMSS13 in New Orleans in March, Faulkner said she thought that, on the surface, CommonWell appeared to be "a competitive weapon."

To learn more:
- read the Forbes interview