EPIC Systems Bullying

David Mann | EP Studios | February 21, 2013

I got word through my medical director at work today that the hospital administrators had been contacted by the EPIC electronic health record software company about this post, and demanded that the screenshots of the EPIC user interface be taken down. Offsetting my pride that someone had actually noticed and read my blog was the sudden fear of facing down a multi-billion dollar company armed to the teeth with expensive lawyers.  I put the website into emergency Maintenance mode while I considered my options. 

The post in question, which you can still read sans the controversial screenshots, is a satirical look at EHR/EMRs in general, and the EPIC EHR specifically.  I am not a lawyer (nor can I really afford one) but I felt that the use of the screenshots fell under the “Fair Use” doctrine relating to copyright, i.e. a limited non-commercial use for illustrative purposes. 

It is a time-honored tradition to include a few screenshots in reviews of software, and, despite the tongue-in-cheek nature of my post, it essentially was just that — a review from the point of view of a user.  I don’t understand why EPIC is so protective or sensitive about hiding their user interface.  After all, if I were reviewing Windows 8, I wouldn’t expect Microsoft to call me up and demand me to pull down a screenshot...