Over the past five years, several leading informatics organizations have transitioned from self-developed electronic health records (EHRs) to commercial systems. For example, Partners HealthCare, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Eskenazi Health (formerly Wishard Hospital, partners with the Regenstrief Institute) have moved to Epic, Intermountain Healthcare has moved to Cerner, and the VA health system is also negotiating to move to Cerner. Historically, these organizations had considerable control over their information systems, as they directed their development and roadmap. As organizations make the transition from self-developed to commercial systems, new challenges arise, especially around informatics research, practice and innovation.

In this panel, we present the experience of four organizations which are actively innovating in Epic, the most widely used commercial EHR: Partners HealthCare, University of California San Francisco, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

The presenters will detail their organizations’ experience innovating on the Epic platform through several case studies, introduce the range of technical approaches for developing and integrating innovative tools in Epic, discuss Epic’s approaches to working with innovators and cover issues in organization governance of innovation activities. Though the focus of the panel is the experience with Epic, the lessons learned apply to all EHRs.

Learning Objective 1: Describe the challenges and opportunities related to innovating in a commercial EHR, including strategies, tools and best practices for innovating within, alongside and outside of commercial EHRs.


Adam Wright (Presenter)
Partners HealthCare

David Bates (Presenter)
Partners HealthCare

Andrew Auerbach (Presenter)
University of California San Francisco

Asli Weitkamp (Presenter)
Vanderbilt University

Eric Kirkendall (Presenter)
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Presentation Materials: