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Epic Consulting Services

epic consulting

The Right People and Epic Support for Every Phase of Your Project

The success of your Epic implementation depends on having the right people on your team. With the HCI Group, you have in-depth knowledge and extensive Epic consulting experience with resources that are hand selected from leading projects across the country.

Across the United States, the HCI Group is a vetted and proven provider of Epic consulting services for dozens of Epic implementations, from Johns Hopkins on the East Coast to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center on the West.

We Know Epic Support

The HCI Group’s Epic-certified builders, trainers and advisory leadership all deeply understand the complex relationship between Epic’s application modules and the vast array of workflows and technologies affected across your health system.

The HCI Group has a core competency to help plan, design and execute your Epic implementation at all levels. This knowledge is based on a thorough understanding of how Epic applications are fundamentally designed, and the importance that your workflow and data integrates seamlessly between the Epic application and your ancillary systems. Our builders understand the upstream and downstream impacts of their designs for our client’s implementation, and they ensure that all Epic applications pass integrated testing and work cohesively during go-live.

epic consulting services

The HCI Group Epic Consulting Services


An Epic implementation, within a single hospital or across multiple sites, is usually the largest endeavor that an organization will take on.

To ensure a smooth Epic implementation, HCI will work with your team to review and manage operational risks within your IT program. Engaging as early as the project planning phase, HCI will collaborate with you to identify potential problem areas, in order to mitigate possible risks by setting accurate expectations and defining change management processes. We will incorporate mitigation strategies into the project plan, monitor risks during each phase of the implementation, and establish communication processes for making the appropriate adjustments.

Because implementations have many working parts, it is critical to have a streamlined process that is effectively communicated and executed. HCI’s representatives will fully immerse themselves in the project to ensure collaboration while tracking your implementation.


Key steps in HCI’s Epic Implementation plan 

Establish an Effective Epic Implementation Team

The right resources at the right time assure implementation and long-term EHR success.

Establish and Communicate Epic EHR Goals and Priorities

Establish an organization-wide vision to promote the value and objectives of the Epic implementation, both immediate and long-term, and communicate that vision for full organizational support.

Establish Epic Implementation Strategies

Make the most of lessons learned from similar organizations, determine the different phases of implementation, clearly define scope and budget, and create an achievable implementation timeline, without jeopardizing success.

Establish Governance

A mix of resources, including Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and key users, must be involved in the various implementation phases, in order to identify key planning issues.

Vendor Planning Meetings

Create an alliance with Epic to support the organization’s goals and approach using milestones, internal resources, external resources, and the resources of the Epic implementation team to ensure project success.

Detailed Epic Implementation Plan Document

Document the detailed list of implementation phases that are the responsibilities of both the organization’s Epic implementation team and the vendor’s team, and establish benchmarks to measure project success.


HCI is able to provide all of the following teams as needed during an Epic project:

  • Advisory Services – project planning, discovery, scope development, timeline, resource allocation, budget development
  • Implementation Services
  • Staff Augmentation
  • Revenue Cycle Enhancement
  • Application & Integrated Testing
  • Interface & Interoperability
  • Training & Adoption
  • Activation/Go-Live Support
  • Community Outreach
  • Data Migration
  • Epic Service Desk
  • Optimization
  • Legacy Support

When considering converting data from your legacy EMR to Epic, it is important to understand the reasons for the conversion and the related functional aspects. Accurately defining specific elements and objectives will provide an understanding of what data is required and the appropriate extraction time frames. The process merits an appropriate time and financial investment rather than just a temporary reallocation of resources.


Epic Data Conversion Services

The HCI Group can help you convert your data to your new Epic system by offering:
  • Experience – We will comprise our team with dedicated resources who have a wealth of knowledge on your organization’s legacy data platforms.
  • Quality – Backed by best practice methodology, the HCI team delivers an unsurpassed level of service.
  • Expertise – Through experience, HCI is able to anticipate and mitigate risk to project timelines before they become obstacles.
  • Affordability – HCI is proud to offer highly competitive rates for exceptional resources.

We can be a comprehensive one-stop source for your integration and migration needs, such as:

  • Integration Project Management
  • Data Conversion Experts
  • Integration Assessments
  • Integration/Application Testing
  • Integration Developers
  • Integration Engine Upgrades and Enhancement
  • Integration Training
  • Legacy Support
  • Monthly Support Agreements


Epic Data Migration Methodology

HCI’s Data Conversion methodology is an accumulation of proven best practices and is tailored to meet your specific organizational needs.  he proper steps performed at each stage in the process protect the integrity and ensure the security of the data. By following these steps, conversion projects are not only manageable, but also executed with a high degree of success.

Based on our experiences and best practices, we approach role-based learning within the context of the end user's readiness to learn and completion of prerequisite proficiencies during earlier phases. The four phases for the HCI training life cycle outlines the approach we take for Epic EMR training.

HCI Epic EMR Training Life Cycle:

Epic EMR Training Timeline

Phase 1 – Planning and Training Readiness

This phase of the project has a long duration and begins during the discovery or pre-work phase. Phase 1 continues until the formal implementation of training deployment when proficiency is measured and attendance is tracked.

During this phase, we gather and share information with operational and IT leadership stakeholders as well as potential credentialed trainers, super users and end users. The tasks and events in this phase are aimed at setting a clear plan with stakeholders we can jointly execute on. The desired result is for end users to gain exposure to the new technology within the context of their workflows. These activities are aimed at ensuring awareness so that changed behavior accompanies a new technology occurs prior to the beginning of formal learning.

This phase covers why that needs to proceed how.


Phase 2  – Implementation of Epic EMR Training Deployment

The implementation phase begins with train-the-trainer sessions and ends when the end users begin to use the technology on the job for the first time, i.e., on Go-Live day.  With our large Epic implementation training programs, critical success factors include:

  • The accuracy and reliability of the logistics planning
  • The willingness of faculty members to collaborate with the super users and adhere to the facilitation and coaching techniques and
  • The completeness of the role based curriculum and training environment.
Feedback loops are important to ensure success during this phase and gather information for improvement in future programs. 

Phase 3 – Post Go-Live Stabilization & Transition to Live Customer Training Support

Stabilization is that time when the organization has a chance to “catch up with itself.” During this time, the HCI Epic EMR training team provides stabilization-training support and avoids moving too quickly into ongoing support where fewer IT team members will be assigned on site day by day. In typical, large-scale technology implementations, end users begin with minimal proficiency with the tools and need additional training and support for a period of time to gain muscle memory and stabilize their new knowledge and skills. Users are trying to remember what they learned prior to go-live and apply to real life situations.

This transition for the end user is occurring at the same time the transition of the training program is moving from the implementation team trainers to the Live Customer support group. The primary role of the implementation training team during this time is to provide continuity for the learning program as it moves from implementation to steady state and help users move from having minimal proficiency to intermediate proficiency with their role based technologies within the context of integrated team workflows. This often includes supporting some retraining efforts as the operational workflows may change to gain increased efficiencies on the units.


Phase 4 – Live Customer Training Support and User Optimization

Live Customer Training Support and User Optimization will begin when stabilization ends. We know we are there when end users demonstrate they are comfortable with their new roles and routines and are ready to become more efficient with using the technologies within the context of their workflow. It is during the training support and optimization phase that the organization begins to realize benefits through efficient use. This is a slow process with the trend line moving at a different pace with different roles but always in an upward direction.

During this phase, the Live Customer Training Support team will collaborate with different groups throughout the organization to provide targeted training for workflow and system functionality improvements.

A large part of the success of an Epic implementation is based on a well-developed trainer program.
Our Epic Credentialed Trainer Strategy and Plan includes:
  • A customized design for each client.
  • Hiring and training the right Credentialed Trainers.
  • A tailored curriculum which includes the client specific customization and workflows, client culture and processes, in addition to the Epic technical content.
  • Continuous evaluation of the learning and competencies of each trainer by an experienced manager.

HCI’s best practice is to recruit and provide experienced application specific Epic Credentialed Trainers current in the Epic 2014/2015 version(s). In addition, HCI has unique online project management tools to identify our known contract resources coming off of recent projects, allowing us to move cohesive teams from one project to another. These highly experienced resources have been ranked by onsite project managers ensuring that HCI brings known quality training resource teams to our clients.


Local Epic Credentialed Trainers

HCI aims to provide a split between experienced Epic credentialed trainers and local training resources. This approach will promote utilization of local resources, creating jobs in the local community while providing a pool of local talent for future projects. Additionally, as a result of this approach our clients see a significant decrease in cost by minimizing travel and expenses. Local resources will attend a customized Credentialed Trainer Training course tailored to our client’s workflows, specifically designed to accelerate the learning process.
Choosing the right partner for your Epic Credentialed Training program will be critical to the success of your project. By choosing HCI, this important facet of your Epic project will be in safe hands.

Ranked as best-in-KLAS provider for go-live support, HCI offers cost effective solutions for healthcare organizations to train and execute your Epic go-live successfully. Using our in-depth knowledge of Epic we offer cost effective solutions for healthcare organizations to train and activate Epic successfully.


HCI's Epic Go-Live Team

Our leaders are experts in Epic go-live project management and delivery. Our go-live support team brings a track record of success using the best known national and international standards. Our onsite project lead is there to ensure an effective and seamless adoption of Epic, one that will be viewed by the client's clinicians and staff as both high quality and successful. Central to our methodology is that we engage early in the go-live planning with the client's project leaders. To accomplish this, we begin on our first project planning session and review closely every aspect of your go-live activities. This includes—but it by no means limited to—the following key strategic areas of activation: 


Epic Go-Live ProcessEpic Command Center Planning:

We review your approach to command center layout, role/duties for command center leaders, Epic ticketing intake, ticketing software as well as your process for ticketing resolution and complex ticket escalation. HCI will engage with local project managers to assist with incident management ticketing process and help coordinate the design and functionality of the Epic command center. 


Appointment Conversion: 

HCI leaders carefully review appointment conversation plan and potential needs for staffing manual conversions. If additional support for manual conversions is necessary, we can attempt to time the on-boarding process for external resources prior to activation to assist the conversions team. 


Assessing End User Support: 

It is important that HCI Leadership meets with site administrators early in the engagement process. It is important to review first-hand the geographic layout of sites going live and assess the number of end users and support type (Front Desk vs Nursing vs Provider) that will be working in each area. In addition, this time allows us to build relationships with site administrators and ensures we gather our assessment data directly from the source. 


Epic Super Users: 

A thorough Epic 'At the Elbow' support assessment requires HCI leadership to understand how you organized your super user program. What initiatives did you design to help make your super users, super? Additionally, we will look to understand of exactly who and where each super user is assigned to work during go-live. HCI leadership supports Epic's model of a 6:1 ratio but in many instances augments this to ensure that acute areas or areas with greater training needs are adequately supported. A super user by Epic’s definition is dedicated 100% to At Elbow Support during go-live. If this is not the case, we will need to map out where and exactly how much support each individual is capable of providing. 


Workflow Dress Rehearsals: 

As part of our approach to go-live, we need to uncover your existing plans to support operational/workflow dress rehearsals, we will want to work with your teams internally, assess what has been complete thus far, make adjustments and begin planning for delivery with project coordinators. We will work with your team to build a strategy that focuses on quality and provides a good experience for end users in each department. 


Project Staffing: 

Our emphasis is on quality. We want to ensure that we cover every conceivable detail as we prepare and deliver your Epic go-live. We will focus our efforts to bring the client exceptional talent from around the industry and will ensure we prepare these individuals with a specialized orientation. 

Other areas that will require thought and project leadership include: Designing intraday project communications, 'At Elbow' zone support design, shift change agenda, daily reporting tools, At Elbow support project scheduling and gathering KPIs. 

Epic Go-Live Support

Epic support that extends beyond the Epic Service Desk resulting in improved ongoing support.

The HCI Epic Service Desk is focused on providing clients with solutions that create value and reduce the operational support cost associated with maintaining and supporting Epic. This is achieved through a blend of advisory services, cross-certified and experienced Epic Analysts, Business Intelligence (BI), Data Analytics, Continual Process Improvement (CPI), an Epic Service Desk (ESD), and Executive oversight.

HCI is uniquely positioned to offer a dedicated, holistic solution for Epic support that extends beyond the Epic Service Desk resulting in improved ongoing support and client satisfaction.


Here are some of the results one Epic Service Desk client achieved in under 9 months:

  • A 32% reduction in overall Epic incident call volume
  • A 50% reduction of backlogged Epic tickets aged ≥ 30 days
  • A 50% reduction in the average time taken to resolve tickets


The key attributes that differentiate the HCI Epic Service Desk include:

Reduction in Epic Ticket Volume – Unlike other market solutions, HCI does not advocate a per ticket pricing model. Through Problem Management and Root Cause Analysis (RCA), HCI partners with the client to both prevent tickets from being originated as well as resolving tickets at the lowest level of support. Through this approach, HCI has consistently demonstrated the ability to reduce incoming ticket volume.

Cross-Certified, Epic Analysts – Knowledge and experience is the key. As part of HCI’s Epic Service Desk, analysts are engaged to resolve tickets versus simply catching and dispatching to the client’s Tier 2 Epic analysts. This results in a lower open-to-close time, thus improving end-user productivity and satisfaction.

BI & Data Analytics – Visibility across the support spectrum is crucial to lowering support costs. As such, HCI provides an interactive dashboard that takes into account the entire Epic support team (HCI and Client). With visibility into labor distribution, clients are armed with the productivity measures required to make and measure management decisions. Secondly, it is through robust BI and Data Analytics that Problem Management and RCA is achieved; which is often lacking within a standard IT Service Management (ITSM) toolset alone. Lastly, HCI mines and correlates the ticket data in search of training deficiencies and opportunities to close those gaps in the spirit of the common goal to reduce ticket volume.

Continual Process Improvement – Through an ITIL framework for ITSM, HCI takes a complete look at the support model from an end-to-end process versus being exclusively focused on just the HCI delivery of an Epic Service Desk. With an eye toward continuously strengthening the processes and taking a collaborative approach with its clients, HCI has proven to be able to move to the proverbial needles for ticket and backlog reduction, SLA adherence, open-to-close time, and a shift from incident and maintenance to that of enhancement opportunity.

Client Engagement Manager (CEM) – A dedicated CEM is assigned for the day-to-day management of service delivery and operations. The CEM is backed by the HCI Sustain management team with clearly defined escalation paths. This undiluted focus is what allows for the delivery of outstanding service and more importantly, results.


Continually reaping the benefits of your Epic Electronic Health Record (EHR) investment requires you to commit to both the optimization and maintenance of the system, well beyond the initial Go-Live.

You must regularly make major upgrades to Epic in order to maximize your ROI. Epic upgrades require diligence and discipline to keep current with the Epic’s release schedule. In addition to helping you to realize the benefits of software maintenance and to retain membership in Epic’s Good Maintenance program, implementing the latest functionality available also provides you with the framework for complying with regulatory and compliance requirements (e.g. – Meaningful Use).

You should plan to execute a major upgrade every 12 to 18 months to stay current with Epic‘s release of major versions of its EHR. Each upgrade takes six to nine months of planning, testing, training, execution, post-upgrade support, and optimization.

Major upgrades require significant investments of your finite time, labor, and budget resources.


The HCI Group can help you through your Epic Upgrade 

The Epic team at HCI will help you customize your upgrade plan. Here are two examples of ways we have helped our clients:

  1. Epic Service Desk – our Service Desk Team can maintain much of the keep-the-lights-on (KTLO) activity to allow your team to have the bandwidth to focus on the upgrade. This approach will also allow your team to become proficient on the nuances of the new release, thereby keeping your knowledge in-house. For a demonstration of our Epic Service Desk Dashboard please view the image.
  2. Epic Staff Augmentation – The effort required for planning, testing, and executing a successful upgrade is considerable. The greater the number of interfaces to ancillary systems the higher the degree of complexity of testing becomes, which in turn equates to additional hours dedicated to the upgrade activity. HCI can provide you with a team that can be dedicated to performing your Epic Upgrade for a period of 6 to 9 months. HCI’s team is well versed in the most recent release and can quickly and competently get your system up to date.
Your organization has invested tens of millions in healthcare IT, how are you going to show a return?  How will your technology platform provide quality for your entire community?  How are you going to complete the strategy without requiring more capital investment?  There is a low cost answer.

Community Engagement

Community engagement is not a core competency of your IT department.  Community engagement revolves around providers you don’t employ or control.  Community engagement is off campus and is hard. Not hard technically, hard in all the other ways community outreach is different; Sales, Marketing, Legal and Support just to name a few.

Furthermore, as a clinical leader, you have the complete clinical record to treat the patient in a low cost, high quality way. Why aren’t your providers more productive? What are they missing?


Community Data

Complete your clinical integration with your provider network to complete the record. You cannot improve quality without all of the patients' data and frankly most of that resides in the community. By engaging your community providers and offering them your technology platform and your workflows, they will be happy to exchange not only data, but patients as well.

HCI can show you the way to a complete, robust and measurable way to complete the strategy.  By engaging you from creation to execution, HCI can provide the whole program or just the pieces you need. We have the experience and the ability to deploy your Epic Community Connect program in a collaborative and strategically supportive way; this allows you to focus on your largest customer, the hospital.


HCI's Epic Community Connect Team

Our Epic Community Connect team is ready to help you reach the next level of interoperability and complete your provider network strategy.

Download our most recent white paper on 6 Key Reasons Why Hospital IT Outreach Projects Fail.

As a valued partner with Epic Corporation, we work to support its corporate mission and values. 

Working with the HCI Group provides you with a rapidly expanding base of Epic career opportunities, as we experience focused growth and expansion of our client base globally. Our consultants now span eleven time zones from North America to the Middle East. The HCI Group has Epic certified career opportunities that top consultants want, with access to a variety of proprietary positions.

HCI Group consultants appreciate our personalized approach to their needs while on a project, and we also understand through experience how challenging life can be on the road. You are not alone, and you will find that the HCI Group staff will be there throughout your project.

Visit our Careers Hub to find out more information.

Our Epic consultants have a wealth of experience with today’s leading Epic software modules, including:

Beacon Oncology
Benefits Engine
Cache DBA/Unix Support
Charge Router
Data Courier
EpicCare Ambulatory
EpicCare Home Health
EpicCare Inpatient
EpicCare Inpatient Clin Doc
EpicCare Inpatient Orders
Resolute Hospital Billing
Resolute Professional Billing
Willow Ambulatory
Willow Inpatient

Learn more from the experts

The HCI Group host regular webinars exploring current topics within the healthcare IT industry.

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Innovative Solutions

The HCI Group offer a wide range of innovative, design-centric, and cost effective solutions.

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Trusted Vendor

The HCI Group has helped more than 220 healthcare clients improve the delivery of care and optimize the return on their IT investments.

Support Desk

Dedicated Support

Need assistance? The HCI Group offer 24/7 Support Desk services that can be customized to the needs of our clients.


Epic Client Testimonials 

“In this very competitive and specialized market, [the HCI Group] have consistently brought high-quality people to the table that meet our criteria.”

Joe Longo IT Director, Parkland Health System

“The complex nature of both our timeline for meeting this deadline and our system as a whole required additional resources to ensure an EMR roll out that is on schedule, on budget, well-received by physicians and ultimately a success. From our first meeting with the HCI Group, we knew that their in-depth knowledge and extensive Epic consulting experience would deliver the results we need.”

Tim Reddy Director of Clinical Applications for Johns Hopkins

"The HCI Group have been a true partner to the Mount Sinai Epic implementation providing consulting needs from advisory services, integration, staff augmentation to training and go live support. The quality of the HCI team members have exceeded expectations."

Kristin Myers Vice President - IT Epic Clinical Transformation and iPMO, Mount Sinai Health System