I spent the better part of a day this week at the annual meeting of the Epic Michigan Users Group (we call it eMUG). But I don’t want to focus on Epic. I want to talk about the value of learning from your peers. It could be any vendor or any user group.
This was our fourth annual eMUG conference. Given space limitations, we had 200 attendees last year and with the venue this year we were able to accommodate 400, a significant increase. With 11 health systems in Michigan on Epic, that’s a good size group from each organization.
When asked for a show of hands on how many had been to Epic’s national user group meeting (UGM) before, only 25-30% of the attendees raised their hands. Local user group meetings like eMUG give many more staff a chance to attend and connect with their peers. National user group meetings are costly with airline and hotel expenses for a couple days.
This eMUG meeting was a content rich day:
- Roundtables on Meaningful Use and Business Intelligence
- Breakout sessions on implementing an EHR in cancer programs, alert fatigue, data warehouse and clinical documentation improvement
- General session with an excellent talk on usability by Dr. Michael Zaroukian, CMIO at Sparrow Health System, and a “Cool Stuff Ahead” overview from Epic’s Seth Howard who is their lead developer of future enhancements
Over 15 vendors sponsored the event and attendees were able to get to know more about their products and services in between sessions.
And of course there was plenty of networking time – a chance to meet peers from around the state and a chance to compare notes with your own team.
At our executive round table, the CIOs and CMIOs discussed interoperability, HIE, reporting and analytics, FHIR, and the potential for shared services amongst us.
One of the great things about health care organizations is that while we may compete in our markets, we are quick to share and learn from one another. The openness and willingness to help one another succeed is obvious. After 4 years together there is a trust that serves us well. And in the end, it serves all the patients who trust us with their care.
Kudos to the IT team from Sparrow Health System for hosting this year’s event after the team at Beaumont Health System led the way the past few years. We are all looking forward to even bigger and better next year when Henry Ford Health System hosts. It just may be our turn at UMHS to host after that.