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Epic vs Cerner: EMR / EHR Comparison Guide

Paul Kovalenko Paul Kovalenko | February 23, 2023 | 10 min

The healthcare industry is one of the most complex and data-driven industries in the world. Little wonder a lot of healthcare organizations rely on electronic health record (EHR) and electronic medical record (EMR) systems to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes. In fact, the adoption rate of The EMR/ EHR platforms has grown so much that its market size is expected to reach 47.6 billion by 2030.

​​Choosing the right medical records software can be difficult though. There are so many of them out there and each one has a slightly different way of doing things. Two of the most popular options are Epic and Cerner. Between them, they hold 55% of the entire market share at 29% and 26% respectively.

This article will compare Cerner vs Epic to help you decide which is right for your practice. You may also be interested in reading how EMR improve hospital management.

Comparing Cerner and Epic EHR Systems

Epic and Cerner are two of the most popular electronic health record (EHR) systems in the world. Both systems provide a comprehensive set of functions and features for handling patient records and medical data.

Cerner is well-known for providing secure access to patient information. Ambulatory comprises electronic lab requisition, nCode, ePrescribe, and results analysis, all of which are intended to save time and limit the potential of human errors while establishing a diagnosis. Cerner mostly serves small practices and facilities with 10 to 25 beds. In the United States, it has a 29% market share by beds.

Epic, on the other hand, is well-known for its easy-to-use interface.

It features the typical set of ‘core’ EHR functions, and users can add modules based on their specialization. Epic places a heavy emphasis on patient engagement and the facilitation of remote care. Epic serves large, complex clients with comprehensive acute/ambulatory care integration and a complete clinical/revenue cycle solution. It accounts for 39% of the market share by beds in the United States.

Highlights

CernerEpic
Owns 29% of the market share by beds.Owns 39% of the market share by beds.
Ideal for small and medium practices.Ideal for large-scale facilities and organizations.
Offers more features including Ambulatory care.Facilitates remote care

Epic vs Cerner: Interoperability Comparison

​​The ability of various systems, technologies, or programs to function flawlessly together is referred to as interoperability. In the context of electronic health record (EHR) systems, it refers to the capacity of various EHR systems to communicate and share information.

Both Cerner and Epic offer a variety of solutions for enabling data sharing between their systems and others.

Cerner, for example, co-founded a non-profit industry trade association, CommonWell Health Alliance, with other competitors, that allow members to share data. In addition to this alliance, the company also provides Cerner Ignite APIs, which offer third-party integration options for healthcare organizations.

Then there is Seamless exchange. This collates patient data from multiple EHRs and care venues, removes duplicate information, and presents the information as a single holistic patient record for clinicians to use within their workflows. This tool allows for an easier and simpler exchange of data.

Lastly, there is Cerner’s Interoperability Ticker, which tracks health data exchange on its website.

Epic EHR system has its interoperability platform too. It is called EpicCare Link and enables data sharing between it and other EHR system vendors. 

There is also the Carequality network, a public-private network that connects healthcare providers across the country. Another interoperability feature is Share Everywhere, which allows people to share their health information with others without the recipient connecting to the Epic EHR.

Epic has the Happy Together option as well. A portal view that incorporates data from numerous sources and enables clinicians and patients to have access to information in a consolidated, integrated manner.

Compared to Cerner, Epic is criticized as a closed system, because it offers less interoperability than others, particularly its refusal to be a part of the CommonWell Health Alliance. On the plus side, it offers better connectivity than the Cerner EMR system thanks to its direct protocol connection feature.

Highlights

CernerEpic
Offers better interoperability via CommonWell Health Alliance, Cerner Ignite APIs, Seamless exchange, and Cerner’s Interoperability Ticker.Not much interoperability: EpicCare Link, Carequality Network, Share Everywhere, and Happy Together.
Connectivity via APIs.Better connectivity via direct protocol.

If you are looking for more interoperability options, we may be able to help you with a custom solution. 

Contact us at Langate Software today to see what is possible.

Need a help with choosing between Cerner and Epic?
Reach out to Langate

Cerner vs Epic: Installation Comparison

As far as implementation and installation go, when comparing Epic versus core Cerner, both have unique approaches, and the specific process depends on the organization’s size, complexity, and specific needs. However, Epic’s cost for implementation and installation is much higher than other EHRs. In fact, the implementation and installation of Epic require the help of an IT team, and this makes up a huge percentage of the installation cost.

Unlike Epic, Cerner electronic medical record provides best practices and strategies via Model Experience, which it uses to create the most effective recommendations for implementation and installation. Additionally, Cerner offers comprehensive training programs for users and administrators to help them implement their new EHRs confidently.

The Cerner computer system is therefore simpler and easier to install and implement than Epic.

Highlights

CernerEpic
Implementation and installation is easy and seamless thanks to its Model Experience. Implementation and installation are complex and require the help of Epic’s IT team. Epic can be installed on-premise amongst other things.
The cost of installation and implementation is reasonable.The cost of installation and implementation is high.

Cerner vs Epic: Pricing Comparison

There is no information about prices on either company’s website or through other means so it is difficult to do an actual EHR pricing comparison. To get an estimate, you will have to contact the company directly. 

That said, EHR pricing for systems such as Epic or core Cerner typically covers implementation, maintenance, and hardware update. All of these can add up to a significant amount. However, in this Epic vs Cerner comparison, Cerner is determined to be the less expensive option.

For example, according to our findings, it is estimated that Epic EMR costs between $1,200 and $500,000, depending on a variety of factors. While Cerner starts at $25 per month, per user.

All in all, the Cerner charting system is perceived to be the more affordable option after taking into account all of the additional costs related to implementation and installation. The Epic platform on the other hand is believed to offer more in terms of value.

Highlights

CernerEpic
Is cheaper than Epic.Can be quite expensive.
Typically costs $25 per user/ per month.Costs between $1200 to $500,000 depending on size.

Cerner vs Epic: Customer Support Comparison

Cerner and Epic are both known for providing strong customer support. Both companies have dedicated customer support teams that can assist with technical issues, training, and ongoing maintenance. 

Cerner has an eService portal where it attends to customer issues 24/7 including technical solutions and answers to queries. Cerner also gives the client’s in-house team technical training so they are prepared for the system’s internal implementation.

Epic Charting is also known for its robust feature set and strong customer support system. It usually follows through queries within 24 hours and keeps users updated on industry news and trends via its newsletter.

On the downside, Cerner tends to have a slow response rate, while Epic’s implementation is inherently technical and so results in a lot of customer support requests.

Highlights

CernerEpic
Offers 24/7 eService support, separate client and physician ambulatory phone support, uCern forum.Offers 24/7 customer support via phone, MyChart, and UserWeb email support.
Slow response time.Answers queries within 24 hours (faster response time).
Deals with more customer queries as a result of the complexity of the platform.
Offers technical training to the in-house team.Offers technical training to the in-house team.

Epic or Cerner: How to Choose Between Systems?

The type of EHR you choose will depend on factors such as the needs of your organization, the level of customization and integration required, the training and support available, as well as the overall cost. 

In terms of the need of your organization, you will want to look at the features of each vendor and go for the option that meets your checklist best. 

We have put some of the top features of a typical EHR/ EMR system in the table below to help you compare Epic vs Cerner.

Product NameCerner EHREpic EMR
Advisory Services
Android App
Appointment Management
Billing Management
Clinical Workflow
Cloud
On-Premise
Community Care Management
Document Management
E-Prescription
HIPAA
Insurance And Claims
IOS App
Lab Integration
Longitudinal Record
Medical Templates
Patient Demographics
Patient Education
Patient Portal
Referrals
Remote Care
Scheduling
Scorecards

So Cerner EMR vs Epic, which option should you go for?

As you can see from the Cerner vs Epic EHR software comparison table above, both vendors offer cloud-based healthcare software and a wide array of features. Cerner, however, is best suited for ambulatory care and clinical. So, if you have a small to medium-sized practice, you may want to choose Cerner. It is also the ideal choice when it comes to interoperability and population health management features.

Large, complex healthcare organizations including university medical centers, multi-hospital systems, and big physician practices are the best candidates for using Epic EHR. It can also be used by some smaller healthcare organizations. Plus with Epic, you’ll be able to automate your daily tasks and benefit from an intuitive interface.

In the end, the best choice depends on your organization’s specific needs, goals, and typical workflow experience, and hopefully, this Cerner vs Epic EHR comparison will come in handy when making a decision.

Our Experience

If you’re in the market for a new EHR system and you’re reading this Epic vs Cerner EHR comparison you’ve probably narrowed your choices down to these two options. Both are industry leaders with a long list of features and capabilities. But what if you are thinking of integrating with your existing infrastructure, with each other, or with your current platform? Look no further than Langate. 

As a qualified software development company, we assist companies of all sizes in developing innovative solutions and solving complex problems. Let us help you maximize your investment, whether you have Cerner or Epic.

As already established, Cerner and Epic are two of the biggest EHR vendors in the healthcare industry, and both have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Langate Software can help you get the most out of both systems by integrating them into one seamless platform or individually into your existing system. We have a deep understanding of both systems and can help you optimize their respective features.

With over 20 years of experience, we have helped dozens of healthcare facilities improve the quality of their care through custom software development. One of our recent projects involved developing an efficient data ETL platform to extract, transform, and load patient data from multiple sources and place them in a central data warehouse.

As a result, it is now a lot easier for the client to extract data from different systems with less effort. The system also finds and reports all mistakes automatically, reducing the waste of time and resources. Plus, data transfer is more automated and seamless than ever.

If you like such a seamless experience with your choice of EHR/ EMR platform, we can do the same for you. We have a dynamic, results-driven team to provide you with tailored solutions and customized services to improve the way you provide healthcare services.

If you’re looking for a company to help you fully unlock the potential of your Cerner and Epic EHRs, contact Langate Software today. We can gladly assist you in making the most of your EHR system.

Conclusion

The electronic health record (EHR) system is a critical part of any healthcare organization, and two leading vendors in the space are Cerner and Epic. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages, so you should weigh them carefully before deciding. Hopefully, this Cerner vs Epic comparison has helped.

To quickly recap:

Cerner electronic health record offers a wide range of features and modules, allows for better interoperability, is easy to implement and install, and is less expensive. It’s used by small to medium-sized hospitals and health systems and is known for its flexibility and attractive GUI.

The Epic documentation system is often used by larger hospitals and health systems. It’s also known for its robust features and deep functionality, but can be more complex to set up and implement than Cerner but is actually easier to use once it goes live. It also offers fewer interoperability options and can be rather expensive.

At the end of the day, it really depends on your needs, organization size, and budget. 

If you’re still not sure about the one that works best for your needs or would like to explore advanced customization options for Cerner or Epic, get in touch with us at Langate Software. 

Our team at Langate Software is more than happy to help.

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