Big Demand for Epic Certifications in Healthcare IT

Health IT

Project managers, implementation specialists, systems administrators, software testers and quality assurance analysts skilled in Epic are getting snapped up as quickly as they go on the market.

Driving the demand are two things: the growing use of Epic Systems’ software at healthcare organizations, and the difficulty in getting Epic certified, says Caleb Potter, a principal recruiter for healthcare IT at the Seattle offices of recruiter Greythorn.

Click here to find jobs requiring an Epic certification.

Epic’s software dominates the work involved with electronic health records, or EHR, notes Potter. Thanks to federal mandates, hospitals and other healthcare organizations will continue to expand their implementation of EHR systems and need IT professionals who can help them do it – at least for the next few years.

However, becoming a recognized Epic expert isn’t easy. You’ll need to work at, and be sponsored by, a healthcare organization or work at Epic itself to pursue a certification related to clinical systems, records and billing. As Potter observes, Epic keeps a tight rein on the process. (The company wouldn’t comment for this story.)

The certification process requires on-site training at Epic’s headquarters in Verona, Wisc., and also that you undertake actual project work in a hospital setting. Inevitably, the process limits the number of people with the certifications. “I hear it all of the time, how do I get certified?” Potter says. “People are usually disappointed with the news.”

If you’re interested in pursuing a certification, Potter suggests checking out the local market for hospital IT jobs and paying close attention to organizations that are already Epic customers.

The payoff from your Epic credentials can come quickly: Many certified professionals jump from the hospital to the consulting world soon after receiving their certifications. A big reason is money. According to Potter, health system IT employees might make between $65,000 and $110,000 a year, depending on their position. Consultants can take home between $70 to $115 an hour.

But even if you’re not interested in consulting, it’s a good time to be looking for work if you’ve got Epic credentials, says Mike Smith, a vice president at Orem, Utah-based KLAS Research. “Epic has had some incredible growth, and they’ve had more net new wins in the hospital-over-200-bed space than any other core software vendor doing core clinical software work,” he explains. That accounts for much of the job growth at Epic itself, and is the reason smaller consultants are constantly cropping up.

Still, the best opportunities are likely to be found at some of the bigger consulting firms. Deloitte is one of the leaders in terms of sheer project size, says Smith, and Accenture and Encore Health Resources have growing Epic practices.

The only question regards how much longer this demand will continue. “Epic is continuing to have success in the marketplace, and we think there’s still a bit of runway there for implementing new systems,” says Smith. “Two or three years from now, the amount of work will have to scale back, so then it becomes a replacement market.”

This means you should get your certifications with your eyes open. Once the big implementation work goes away, Epic specialists will need to retool and shift their focus. “Hospitals are under a lot of pressure to reduce costs and improve care, and so we’re anticipating more work on the optimization and analytics side,” says Smith.

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15 Responses to “Big Demand for Epic Certifications in Healthcare IT”

  1. parnesh singh

    I am here in California and working for Stanford Hospital for 18 years and we have been on Epic system for about 5 years. I am a Superuser and have been training about 30 employees with Epic system. I have created many tip sheets for my department. I have been trying to get Epic certification for long time and the company does not want to help me get certification.

    Is there any help we I can get or pay on my own to get the Certification.
    Would really appreciate if some one could guide me to Epic Certification.



  2. Epic needs to go down for this. People need to band together and SUE Epic for this unfair business practice. I worked at a health care company for years and watched people far less qualified (and much lazier) than me receive Epic training and promotions. I contacted Epic directly and they turned me away. Epic needs to pay for this. They need to pay exceedingly.

  3. So from what I am understanding,someone can’t get EPIC certified without being sponsored by a healthcare organization that will send that person to the training center in WI. However, you can’t get hired for an EPIC job without the certification FIRST. This seems like a major “Catch 22” situation.

  4. Im currently going through the cert process for Epicare Ambulatory. 1 more class to go. My advice. Get superuser status at yer facility. Find a system in your region who is implementing soon and apply for an analyst position. Get hired and they will send you for cert. Study yer ass off and cert. Not easy… In my eyes, Epic University is packed to the gills with students and they prolly dont need to cert non customers to support the system.

  5. I’m Epic certified and am an instructional designer in the SF bay area and train surgeons, anesthesiologists, and surgical nurses on Optime/ Anesthesia. This work is not for the faint of heart that’s for sure. . Certification is ridiculously difficult, but do-able with dedication. My advice is to volunteer at your hospital to be a superuser, then become a credentialed trainer. From there put that on your resume and on Linkedin….you’ll start to get offers for job interviews. You should have at least one implementation for work experience before you move on.

    The leap from instructional designer to analyst is short. If you’re technically savvy even better. Hope this info helps. Good luck!

  6. Matthew Jackson

    Sponsorship is the key to Epic certification. Otherwise, being certified would be of less value if anyone/everyone could pay for and obtain it on their own. For those interested in being Epic certified, I’d recommend applying for positions that require you to become certified within a certain time frame. At least those companies are allowing you to place one foot in the door and keep you if you are willing to meet the cert requirements. I’m speaking from experience; I did the same and I’ve completed my 5th certification within a 11 year period, with the same healthcare organization. I had to work my way up from Temp to Perm. It’s doable folks.

  7. I had to take a pretest two years ago and did not pass according to their standards. The test was extremely private and i had to scan my room to make sure there were no hidden devices and they had to check my lap top as well. Now two years and have working inn the epic system, i am not allowed to retest, although i have template development experience add tons of project management experience.