Epic's EHR system to run on Linux

Don Fluckinger | TechTarget | May 29, 2012

Epic Systems Corp., one of several dominant EHR vendors for large hospitals, recently authorized implementations of its EHR system on Intel x86 servers running open-source Linux, virtualized to VMware. Prior to that, Epic ran exclusively on AIX and UNIX servers.

The move could signal the software company's attempt to expand its customer base by adding more medium-sized hospitals to its present mix, which includes the largest hospitals, physician groups and academic medical centers. Linux servers are cheaper to purchase -- and maintain, too, since Linux administrators are more plentiful, especially in smaller cities.

"Health care's sort of been saddled with very proprietary, very expensive systems," [Frank] Nydam said, adding that for VMware, Epic's move validates the idea around which the company was formed in 1998: Porting proprietary systems to less-expensive platforms. "Now that Epic feels that we've earned the trust and reliability…it's a boon to smaller hospitals that really couldn’t afford the infrastructure of HP-UX."

Open Health News' Take: 

Several vendors of expensive proprietary EHR solutions have started incorporating 'open source' software (e.g. Linux, Mirth) into their product stack to compete against the growing number  of vendors offering high quality, lower cost 'open source' EHR solutions, e.g. VistA, RPMS, OpenMRS, OpenEMR, Tolven, etc.