Q&A: Epic President Carl Dvorak

Q&A: Epic President Carl Dvorak

We are making significant investments in research and development around the broader issues relating to population health

Epic President Carl Dvorak wrote much of the original code in the system and made some of the enduring architectural decisions empowering its growth. With the company since 1987, he is often referred to as the technology brains of the organization.

Healthcare IT News had an opportunity to speak with Dvorak about Epic’s approach to population health. Here’s what he had to say.

Epic’s DNA is population health management-centric
“We are making significant investments in research and development around the broader issues relating to population health. Our history with population health goes way, way back to our very earliest electronic health records systems. In the early days of electronic health records, managed care organizations that jumped in first and because of that the core Epic system have just an absolute wealth of population health management features built in. Think of it as our healthcare operating system.

“We have a rich history of clinical quality reporting, physician score-carding variation analysis to help understand the opportunities within the health systems to better care for patients. This empowers more consistency and less fragmentation, reduces variability and expenses, and enhances outcomes.”

Patient engagement is a key to population health management
“We want the patient to be the person who cares about an issue or risk with their health. We want patients to be engaged and do the very best that they can do to stay healthy or avoid disease or a progression to a chronic condition.

“In about the last five years, lots of effort has gone into self-service capabilities, so doctors can engage with the patient more fully in their care. That’s been a big driver for us in the population space.

“Some of the newer work we are doing includes bringing in the social determinants of care at scale for population health management: Understanding if the patient lives in a food desert. Do they have transportation issues? Is there concern with regards to the home situation? Is there depression involved? Is there loneliness? Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of healthcare expenses driven by loneliness.”

Global footprint moves best practices across national boundaries
“Epic sites are quite sophisticated. And thankfully many of them have their mission to share. A lot of what our community does is shared freely with each other.

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