Let’s set up a situation.

You’re an organization that has chosen to implement Epic. You have an existing legacy team in place, but you know you need more talent, and in some cases, you need higher performing talent to support the implementation. What do you do?

First, let’s put the situation into context. Most healthcare providers haven’t changed their existing system in many years. Since that time, a lot of things have changed; technology has evolved, and so has the workforce in IT. It’s more important than ever to recognize that teams are no longer put in place to implement the system and force end users need to adjust to that system. Today, employees involved in an implementation need to have a certain business acumen to be able to communicate with end users and project executive leadership to best interpret the way they can build the system for the end user.

Why not use this opportunity to start fresh and optimize your workforce?

After all, you may not get another chance to optimize your IT workforce for another ten to twenty years given the cost of Epic, so why not take this opportunity to put together the best possible team?

Workforce Factors to Consider

Outside of pure implementation costs, there are some other factors to consider:

  1. Cost of a bad hire: There are many estimates on the cost of a bad hire for an organization, including the much echoed figure of 30% of the individual’s first year potential earnings as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor. However, we’ve heard estimates that can reach 3 times an employee’s salary! In the context of an Epic implementation, the estimate could go as high as $400,000 when you factor in replacing an FTE with a consultant, plus travel.
  2. New employee costs: In the sense of Epic, your total certification cost, including travel, meals, and lodging, can run you $20-30K per employee.

When you factor in your replacement cost and the cost of the certification, wouldn’t it make sense to ensure you the the best possible team in place?

The ABCDs of Hiring

Assuming your answer is “Yes,” the question then turns to figuring out how to determine which individuals have the potential to be top performers on the right team. One way to evaluate candidates is to isolate four main categories when evaluating top performers; these can be categorized as the ABCDs of hiring – aptitude, behaviors, competencies and desires.


Aptitude measures potential for growth. Studies indicate this is the most important component in the hiring process.


The focus here is to identify an individual’s work styles, behaviors and personality traits. Then, the goal is to compare these behavioral points with those of existing top performers within a given organization to determine the level of potential fit. This ensures a cohesive team approach to implementing an enterprise system.


Competencies are the knowledge and skills professionals possess today. Utilizing a structured interview built around the skill-sets of top performers focuses the interview on the most important factors for client success.


This is the human element of the interview. Does the candidate want the job for the right reasons, including a desire to build their career around the health system? The “gut feel” of the interview is still important, but balanced by other critical supporting information.

All four components, if aligned properly, can help to identify top performers and create a cohesive project team. After all, once a high performing team is in place, it can generate more positive outcomes, including: improved project timelines, higher functionality and better end user adoption.

For many healthcare organizations, staffing is often the last topic broached; it gets kicked down the line until it needs to get done. Don’t be that organization! Plan and implement a strategy to make sure your team can deliver. After all, the entire organization is watching.

What is your strategy for getting the right people in the right seats ahead of an Epic implementation? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!