User Group Meeting 2018 #1 - A great community

The annual Epic User Group Meeting (UGM) is a truly impressive gathering! Over 8,000 converge on the Epic campus at Verona, Wisconsin, for 5 days of meetings, councils, presentations, testing and updates. With Alberta Health Services formally announced as a new enterprise community member, a number of our leaders took time to learn during a most exciting and informative week. Some first impressions are summarized in the next series of blogs, with apologies for not properly attributing.

An immediate UGM impression is that one has joined a large, capable and collaborative user community. It spans multiple continents and includes all types of health care organizations. Most clients are driven by goals akin to our Connect Care intent. More importantly, Epic community members are eager to help peers succeed. The AHS UGM presence emphasized connecting with peers, networking, and firming up a support group that includes some of the best health care organizations in the world.

Epic facilitated many meetings around the scheduled program. Short consultations with like-minded Epic clients focused on recent installs or build challenges. Frank conversations opened channels for ongoing conversation and mutual assistance. It was clear that we have a lot to gain from sharing.

We also gained confidence. AHS has undertaken a large and exceptionally complex challenge. Our difficulties are not extraordinary. Our strengths are exemplary. Many complemented us on our preparatory work to discover and reduce unhelpful variation, to unify a large health region and to guide a clinical information system initiative with transformative purpose.