Epic Systems Corp. used an April Fools' Day remake of its home page to take some jabs at its competitors Wednesday.
The Verona, Wis.-based electronic health-record maker replaced the corporate news normally displayed on its home page with two April Fools' Day news stories, one that mocks cloud-based EHRs and another that briefly mentions the CommonWell Health Alliance, an interoperability group that Epic has not joined and which some call an anti-Epic group.
Mocking cloud-based providers like competitor Athenahealth, Epic announced on its home page that it had developed the industry's first “true cloud-based solution” by putting data centers in “GOODyEHR” blimps 30,000 feet above healthcare facilities. Athenahealth regularly touts the superiority of its cloud-based EHR offering.
“Other vendors have made similar claims in the past, but they have all been full of hot air,” the company chided. “Epic's solution, by contrast, is full of hydrogen.”
Epic joked that its aerial data centers are earthquake- and flood-proof. Unlike brick-and-mortar centers, they can easily be moved to a new position in “low Earth orbit,” the company said.
The EHR maker has recently made a major move into the retail space with CVS Health Corp., but Wednesday also announced another retail expansion, helping healthcare organizations get the most out of squeezable margarine products.
Hailing from the dairy state, Epic said the “crème de la crème” of its employees will be well-poised to help hospitals increase revenue and improve quality by helping them get more out of their squeezable margarine bottles.
Fake Epic spokesman “Jack Colby” says the goal is to not “skim off the top,” but rather to ensure that the whole of savings benefit the organization, even if revenue goes up just “1% or 2%.”
“Participating groups so far have been pleased to learn that a contract amendment is not needed, and in most cases, these deals can be done with a milkshake,” the article said.
A hospital CIO is quoted in the article as saying, “Ice creamed when I found out how much money we could save. Rising costs are muensterous and if I may speak frankly, decreasing reimbursements have been kicking our dairy air."
The article finishes by quoting “Neal Pasturesson, CEO of Churner Corp.” and “Alfalfahealth CEO Jugnathan Bush,” who don't seem impressed by the new service. The CommonWell Health Alliance, deemed “CowmonWell,” gets a short mention as well.
The story seems to be referring to Cerner Corp. CEO Neal Patterson and Athenahealth CEO Jonathan Bush.
Epic is absent from CommonWell, which named Jitin Asnaani, a former federal health information technology policymaker and health IT industry executive, as its first executive director earlier this week.
An Epic spokesman, a real Epic employee who insisted he be referred to as Harvey Harhar, said in a statement that the fake news stories are a part of a relatively new tradition.
“We've been doing corny stories for about 5 ears now,” he said. “It's all in good pun.”