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My first time on Epic's campus in over 15 years. My impressions and ramblings on day 1 of UGM.


Today in health, it epic UGM day one. My name is Phil Russell. I'm a former CIO. For a 16 hospital system and creator of this week health, instead of channels, dedicated to keeping health it staff current. And engaged. We want to thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health leaders.

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, column, you're going to see the logo for the lemonade stand. Click on that to give today. We believe in the generosity of our community. And we thank you in advance. Alright, day one of ethic. UGM is in the books. I didn't know whether I was going to have time and I really don't have time. To do a show today.

But, , I ended up getting up early, so I decided to record. So if my, , experiences and, and what I've, , , w what epic UGM. Day one. First. Conference was all about for me. So this is the first time I've ever been to UGM. As you guys know, I was a Meditech customer. We were six and a half billion dollar health system. We ran on a single instance of Meditech across that.

, environment. And so I was never a, an epic a client. So I've never been to UGM. In fact, this is only the second time I've been to the campus and the campus is incredible. As you've heard, I'm going to. , spare you that conversation. , except to say that it is fascinating to see the. Amount of work and detail that has gone in.

To creating an environment. That epic, the epic leadership team believes through research. , we'll create an environment that people want to work at that will create an environment that fosters creativity, productivity. And, , and quite frankly, probably a whole host of other things that I'm not thinking about. There's a great attention to culture and the detail on that campus.

, I sent pictures back to my team. None of which have been to this campus. And a couple of them asked me, you know, where I was today. , I told them I was on the epic campus and they did not really believe me after they. I saw the pictures. , so you can look that up online and see what I'm talking about. If you're not familiar with.

, epics campus. , I will say this. It was, , , You know, a lot of the groups got together. Today. So I didn't get a lot of new information that will happen today. Today's Tuesday. There will be the. , the keynote address and we will spend a lot of time hearing what's. , coming down from epic and what we can look forward to over the next year or so I will.

, you can hear more of that. Tomorrow is my guess. I will talk about that. The one. One thing, I will say that it's not announced per se, but it's a, not the best kept secret in the world. That, , epic did launch their partners and pals program partners, partnership and pals program, I think is what they're called. There's two different programs once for very.

Large players and was for smaller players. The, , So that was a. That was last week. I think they, they launched that. And, , I, I did get a chance to, , identify this morning for a Becker's article that, , that, you know, the two for first two pals in the program are a bridge and talk desk.

And talk to us was a sponsor last year. , neither are actually sponsors this show this year. I will say. I think it's pretty smart idea for these. , organizations to be a part of the pal program. I think it gives them the ability to embed deeply into epic. The EHR of record for a lot of systems.

And by embedding deeply, you can create an experience that is a lot more seamless than, you know, the multiple application route that a lot of organizations. Go a bridge. If you're not familiar with them. Is a generative AI company that, that focuses on ways to improve clinical burnout. And. They essentially work with.

, generative AI and other AI models to embed the solutions deeply. Into the, , EHR. So that's one way that you can embed AI tools deeply into the electronic health record. And I had a great conversation with their CEO yesterday, who was at the, , conference, , talk desk is an AI powered. , cloud contact center.

And one of the things I did talk to them yesterday as well. And one of the things is that they found, if you go to a call center that deals with patients, That you're going to find. They spend an awful lot of time in the EHR. And so you can either bounce back and forth between different systems or you can use talk desk, which is now, , integrated into the features of epic cheers, their CRM suite.

And it gives you all the. The traditional experience. , call center type things. A screen pops. Listening. , transcription, , it can, it can integrate into alerts and a bunch of other stuff. So. If your contact center person, who's having a conversation with somebody.

It's a listening to that conversation. And, , it can translate as you would imagine. What we're expecting AI to do is essentially, , listen for certain words and generate. , alerts. So if it hears, you know, just chest pain or that kind of stuff, it will escalate that beyond the call center person.

, very quickly. So that's the, , that's the pals program? I'm sure there'll be more announced. I am surprised key. Care's not in there. Maybe. There, there are different category. I'm not really sure. But regardless, that's a, that's what came out there. , I did sit in on some, , rev cycle stuff.

And some other things there they're very specific to epic clients and they were very involved presentations from various clients. So I'm going to not really talk about that. , so much. I will say I ran into a lot of CEOs and old friends and not old friends, friends. You know what I'm saying? Anyway, , , so there was, , there was opportunities to sit around and talk to them about what, you know, what they're hearing. And there's just a lot of stuff coming out. There's a lot of activity.

, in this space and there's a lot of things that they are taking back that they have to prioritize. Do you know, what can they do? What do they need to do to move forward? There's a feeling like the pandemic. Did, , slow things down a little bit or focus things, I guess, for a period of time. And now there's a lot of pent up demand. I think the other thing that's happening is.

There's there's a lot of organizations that are asking for various things in epic. Is a much larger, larger organization and they are responding. And as they respond and build things out for certain organizations that gets scaled, that gets moved out to other organizations. So I think there is going to be this priority prioritization.

Effort that needs to happen. , and then obviously, you know, there's, there's the whole host of things that go on around a, this is a user group meeting. It's not a conference per se, but has all the year markings of a conference. The. , you know, all the things that went around around it. So, , went to the health X ventures, ,

Dinner and drinks last night and got to talk a lot, a lot of people about what was going on. In the venture capital space and in the investment space and what they're seeing and what they're experiencing. And I, you know, quite frankly, there is still eight ton of money in this space. We talked not only about health ex.

Ventures and their new fund, but about some of the other players. That are in this space and the amount of money they're trying to invest. And quite frankly, There's right now, there's probably more money to invest. That there are opportunities in the health tech space. So very interesting. So the concept of there not being money out there for these startups is probably not accurate, but the startups are.

Th th the model. To impress these, these, , VCs and whatnot is a little different, depending on where you're at in your life cycle. There's more of a, an emphasis on gaining clients and gaining profitability and scaling. , the organizations, but again, each investment arm looks for different things and participates at different stages of the deal. So keep that in mind.

, got. Over to evergreen partners, their, , , their get together. And there was a lot of people there at that one as well. And, , you know, the conversation was interesting. A lot of, , well, not a lot of, but I talked to some international players who were doing epic implementations. And that was interesting and, you know, epic while epic does have a significant.

, market share in the United States. It's not necessarily. , it does not necessarily have that market share around the world. And so, , to see some of those players might indicate that there is movement around the world. I don't know what that really means, actually, to be honest with you, I haven't really sat down and thought about if epic permeates the world healthcare economy.

Like they have the United States. , is that a good thing? Is that a bad thing? I did a post a while back of is Epic's market. , growth and dominance. Good for healthcare or bad for healthcare, to be honest with you, the. The mood was split across the organizations. And I don't know if that was, you know, these polls on LinkedIn. You can only ask one question.

You'd love to ask follow up questions. So I have no context. I don't know if you know the epic clients that gets good and the non-Epic clients that get. , bad. I have no idea. I have no context for that, but generally speaking. , it was that one question survey, which doesn't really tell us much.

I would indicate that, , some people are leery. Some people are excited. So today's a big day. We will hear announcements. We will hear from, , various organizations. We'll probably have a surprise guest or two. On the stage. With Judy and Judy will do what she does, which is, , reveal. You know, what's coming next. I don't think there's much of a reveal. I think there's a ton of things that people have been partnering with them on. And I, if you asked me, what is the.

Thing I'm seeing from epic that is different than what I've seen traditionally. It is this idea of partnership in pals. They're rethinking what this model looks like, and they're giving, , organizations deep access to epic. And actually they literally are partners in pals. And that represents a change in thinking and an approach. , there used to be a.

, a thought process of we, we will build everything. We can build everything and we want to build everything. And I think they now see the benefit of partnering with people and, and. Essentially extending their ecosystem, if not their ethos and their culture. , to these other organizations. And bringing them into the fold and making that happen. Now, I'm not sure what it takes to become a pal or a partner.

, traditionally epic has asked a lot of people who have participated. And, , as, as partners or, , development partners in there. , app orchard. , programming that kind of stuff. There was a lot of things you had to sign and that kind of stuff. I. I would assume that there is some of that because, , there is, , I think from Epic's perspective, a need to control the environment in order to deliver the best experience.

To their community. Anyway, I said, this was going to be short little longer than I thought, but I just thought I'd drop you guys a note from the conference and let you know what, , what I've experienced so far. All right. That's all for today. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note.

They can subscribe on our website. This we call. Dot com or wherever you listen to podcasts. And do you know where that is? And by the way, I want to thank all the people who came up to me yesterday and said they listened to the show. They listened with their teams. , they have conversations. , you guys have no idea and I wish I could express it better than I do in person. , how much that means to me. Well, when I started doing this for the first year, it felt like I was speaking into the void and not getting much feedback.

So the feedback and you, , Coming up to me and telling me that you and your teams are listening to this content and, , having great conversations and whatnot really does mean a lot. It, , you know, , just charges me up to do it again tomorrow. So a all right. Let's , let's close out. We want to thank our channel sponsors. Great channel sponsors are investing in our.

Mission to develop the next generation of health leaders, short tests, artist, site, 📍 parlance, and service. Now check them out this week. Health. Dot com slash today. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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