Cerner EHR vs Epic EHR

Are you struggling to find an EHR solution for your healthcare organization? Evaluating and selecting the right EHR solution for your medical facility can be confusing and troublesome. Choosing the wrong EHR system for your hospital can confront you with extreme challenges. A good deal of research is required to pick the most suitable EHR solution for you to best suit your medical practice. While the services provided by most healthcare IT vendors are more or less the same, there are some points of comparison that demand thorough consideration.

To save you time and hassle, we present you with a comprehensive comparison between the two biggest EHR solutions Cerner EHR vs Epic EHR:

Difference between Cerner and Epic

Both EHR substantial solutions offer their own unique sets of functionalities. Cerner caters to small practices and owns a percentage of the market share of hospitals with almost 10-25 beds. Whereas, Epic caters to large hospitals, but is also struggling to attract small medical practices. Let’s dig deep into how these EHRs differ from each other.


A good EHR system must be able to integrate with other systems and software in order to exchange and make use of information.


Cerner EHR has built-in interoperability capabilities to help users exchange information across healthcare IT systems.

Cerner has three platforms to make integration possible with external systems. This makes connecting with operational, financial and clinical data easier. The EHR solution is now struggling to make application program interfaces that will increase integration with third-party vendors for better healthcare services.

Cerner offers a longitudinal patient record that enables clients to access a sorted out, organized perspective on numerous sources of clinical information to ensure better patient care. In addition to that, Cerner has set “interoperability” as its core initiative as it is a founding member of the CommonWell Health Alliance, a non-profit and independent organization working towards the development and deploying of interoperability solutions.

Interoperability Ticker is another feature available on the Cerner website that helps in keeping a track of pharmacy and clinical transactions along with health data exchange. For years, Cerner has improved towards initiatives that help industry get to a common language that promotes a free and secure exchange of health data.


Epic EHR has received criticism for lack of integrations as it offers less interoperability compared with its competitors. Epic has been avoiding to join marketplace collaborations that claim to work towards interoperability, such as the CommonWell Health Alliance. Although the EHR provider is making efforts to improve in this regard.

However, connecting Epic to other such software is easier via Direct protocol, which means its robust connectivity to other EHRs makes it better than Cerner. Epic additionally offers a Happy Together feature. This unique feature enables healthcare providers and patients to access data with multiple sources in a centralized, merged portal view. It further assists healthcare organizations to take actions such as searching information across the health systems, duplicate lab order checking, direct messaging, scheduling, recovering reference-quality images while working as a single unit.

Implementation and Installation

Installing and implementing an electronic health record (EHR) system can be arduous. So, it’s important to consider the time, cost, and effort involved in installing and implementing a new EHR.


Cerner does not enjoy a great reputation when it comes to a smooth and successful implementation. While, for the installation, users are provided with a handy task list that makes it easier to execute everything they require with the chart available on the list. This will certainly not let you miss out on documenting anything. But so far, Cerner has not announced any big changes regarding its implementation or installation.


Just like Cerner, Epic does not have a good record when it comes to under-budget implementation. Although the installation part costs users millions of dollars and they often end up spending more than what they expected. The need to hire IT staff for installing Epic is a big concern as it increases the expenditure involved. But at the same time, it is easier to navigate through.

User Interface

The improved user interface has a direct relation with increased EHR use. 47% percent of healthcare executives have made it their top-most preference when deciding what to look for in an EHR.


A report from KLAS has given Cerner an upper hand over other EHRs in terms of usability as per the views of clinicians, care managers, and program administrators.

However, reviewers have found its UI to be not as intuitive as expected. According to a reviewer, the interface is difficult to navigate, which makes it difficult to focus on patient care. The system is poorly designed and unintuitive.


Epic has received a mixed sort of reviews for its UI. Some reviewers praise it for being easy to use and quick to implement. They go on to say it is easier for users to navigate between documents and notes. While many are critical of Epic’s UI and complain about the time it takes to learn the system.

What we have learned from the overall reviews is that, once you have learned its UI, everything is fairly streamlined.

Customer Support

Unhindered customer support is what makes an EHR software appealing.


Cerner offers live support 24/7. The support team is available to guide all the time, and the staff is very helpful.


Epic provides excellent technical support. But Cerner gets the competitive edge since the service provider works with the user as a partner.

Which One to Choose? Cerner EHR vs Epic EHR - Comparison

This entirely depends on your budget and practice size. If you are financially restricted and looking for an EHR to serve smaller hospitals or private practices, you should go for Cerner. But for larger hospitals and well-off buyers, Epic is quite suitable. (Related: Top Alternatives to Epic EHR)

In a nutshell: if you are looking for greater interoperability and more integrations, better population health management functionality, and need access to support 24/7, then Cerner is a better option for you.

Epic is the right option if you are after a pleasing UI, which is really important to automate your daily tasks.

Cerner EHR vs Epic EHR Comparison

We hope this comprehensive guide on Cerner EHR vs Epic EHR – Comparison will offer helpful insight to those looking to make a well-informed decision between Epic and Cerner.

Recommended Posts