This week, Alidade Group had the opportunity to sponsor and attend Canada’s Inaugural Epic Regional Conference. Even on a cold day in January, it was clear that excitement was high as energy buzzed throughout the sold out room at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. As attendees were connecting with colleagues old and new to discuss challenges and opportunities facing HIT, the main takeaway was clear: collaboration is the key to harnessing the digital power of Epic. 

Epic Opportunities in Canada

As the first sessions of the day kicked off, it was apparent that there is no shortage of opportunities for expanding the impact of Epic in Canada. While hospitals and health systems are igniting a flurry of innovation, there’s simply not enough sharing of these great ideas happening between teams as of yet. Additionally, interoperability will be key to taking the next step forward for patient-centric care. Now that there are 10 Epic sites in Ontario alone, the need for Epic to Epic interoperability is obvious, but the question still remains: How do we accelerate the interoperability between other systems?

Challenges Ahead

While there are more opportunities than ever for the Epic community in Canada, there are still a number of challenges that lie ahead. These obstacles were discussed during an enlightening panel which included a group of Epic CIOs from the region. As they noted, healthcare teams are already dealing with budget and capacity constraints. It will be up to leaders to find a way to balance these concerns in the face of the growing demand for digital services. Simply put, budget concerns and bandwidth limitations will make it challenging to support these digital demands. How will we work together to define the path forward? 

Epic Thought Leaders

The breakout sessions at the inaugural Epic Regional Conference also provided a great showcase of the talents within our community and the amazing progress being made with the Epic EHR. In addition to these sessions, two Epic speakers made lasting impressions on the attendees. First, Matteo Verzola, Software Development Team Lead at Epic, shared an update on Healthy Planet, Epic’s software module that’s dedicated to advancing population health. Then, Megan Du, Epic Implementation Executive and Team Leader in Canada, shared a holistic look at the EHR throughout the country. The Ontario Foundation System is designed to serve the needs of the Canadian healthcare system; now, it’s about empowering teams to leverage Epic and drive value faster. 

T.E.A.M.

When the day came to a close, our team was invigorated with a new found sense of what is possible for Epic in Canada. Oddly enough, after hours of networking opportunities and expert speakers, my thoughts kept returning to that phrase we learned way back in school – T.E.A.M. It was evident after the inaugural Canadian Epic Regional Conference that collaboration holds the keys to overcoming obstacles and tapping into the potential of Epic. After all, together everyone achieves more.

About the Author:  Eric Born is a Director at Alidade Group.  When not writing, he can be seen around his hometown cheering on his three kids with his wife Sara, or working in the yard with their dog Cookie.