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Epic EHR/EMR App Market: Pros and Cons

Michael Nikitin

CTO & Co-founder AIDA, CEO Itirra

Published on June 8, 2023

As we navigate the increasingly digitized landscape of healthcare, one of the key facets in this evolution has become apparent – the necessity for robust, interoperable Electronic Health Record (EHR) and Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems. More than just repositories of patient information, modern EHR/EMR applications have evolved into crucial tools facilitating streamlined healthcare delivery, enhanced patient care, and efficient data management in compliance with industry regulations like HIPAA and HITRUST. One platform playing a pivotal role in this digital healthcare revolution is Epic’s App Market, previously known as Epic App Orchard.

Epic, well-known in the field of healthcare software, has established the App Market as a vibrant marketplace for Epic-compatible applications, offering a wide array of tools designed to augment and customize the functionality of Epic’s EHR/EMR systems. It promotes interoperability and customization, thanks to the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) and Health Level Seven (HL7) standards. These specifications allow the exchange of protected health information (PHI) between disparate healthcare systems securely and efficiently, a critical requirement in our interconnected healthcare ecosystem.

As a leading Seattle-based healthcare software development company, Itirra brings its experience and expertise in Epic systems and healthcare data standards, helping healthcare organizations navigate the complexities of the digital healthcare landscape.

What is Epic App Market?

Epic App Market is Epic Systems’ digital marketplace, a platform designed to enhance the functionality of its EHR/EMR systems. The idea behind the App Market is rooted in Epic’s forward-thinking approach to healthcare interoperability and the broader vision of a healthcare ecosystem where data flows seamlessly and securely between entities.

At the core of the App Market lies the principle of customization. Epic Systems recognized that each healthcare provider’s needs vary, influenced by factors such as size, specialization, patient demographics, and technological capabilities. To cater to this diverse demand, App Market offers a broad array of applications that can extend and tailor the functionality of Epic’s EHR/EMR systems according to individual needs.

Navigating the platform, users will encounter a wide range of applications, each serving different functions, such as enhancing patient engagement, streamlining administrative tasks, improving clinical decision support, or advancing telemedicine capabilities. This diversity underscores the versatility of the App Market, reflecting its purpose as a hub where innovation in healthcare software converges with Epic’s robust EHR/EMR systems.

Some of the key technologies enabling this interoperability are FHIR and HL7 standards that facilitate secure, efficient data exchange between disparate healthcare systems. Apps in the Market that adhere to these standards can handle PHI securely, aligning with HITRUST guidelines and ensuring compliance with HIPAA regulations.

However, it’s crucial to note that effectively leveraging the potential of Epic App Market requires a nuanced understanding of both the platform and Epic’s EHR/EMR systems. It is here that Itirra, with its extensive experience in Epic systems and FHIR integration, can provide specialized guidance. Itirra aids healthcare organizations in developing, integrating, and utilizing applications for and from the App Market that align best with their specific requirements, facilitating improved healthcare outcomes and enhanced operational efficiency.

app market 2
Benefits of Epic’s analytics and insights
What are the benefits of Epic App Market?

The Epic App Market presents a wealth of benefits for healthcare organizations that extend beyond its function as a hub for innovation. These advantages range from enhancing interoperability to broadening patient engagement, while also maintaining secure handling of PHI in line with HITRUST and HIPAA regulations.

Enhanced interoperability

The Epic App Market plays a vital role in enhancing interoperability across healthcare systems through its support for FHIR and HL7 standards. These standards enable healthcare systems to securely and efficiently exchange information. This enhanced interoperability has broad implications, including simplifying care coordination, facilitating multidisciplinary treatment plans, and reducing the likelihood of medical errors due to incomplete patient information. It also enables healthcare providers to access a more holistic view of patient health, leading to more informed decision-making and improved patient outcomes.

Access to innovative solutions

Epic App Market acts as a marketplace that brings together numerous innovative solutions developed by third-party providers. This single platform grants healthcare providers access to a variety of applications designed to expand upon and enhance the functionality of Epic’s EHR/EMR systems. From applications improving care delivery to those facilitating administrative tasks, the Market provides a plethora of opportunities for healthcare organizations to stay at the forefront of technology in healthcare.

Improved patient engagement

Patient engagement is a critical component of successful healthcare delivery. The App Market features numerous applications specifically designed to improve communication between patients and healthcare providers, simplify access to health records, and support remote patient monitoring. These solutions facilitate more transparent, consistent, and efficient communication channels, enhancing the overall patient experience and enabling patients to take a more active role in their healthcare journey.

Streamlined workflows

Operational efficiency within healthcare settings can be significantly improved through the use of applications available in the App Market. These applications can automate routine administrative tasks, streamline clinical workflows, and enhance resource allocation. As a result, healthcare professionals can focus more on patient care rather than administrative burdens, reducing burnout and increasing overall healthcare delivery efficiency.

Compliance and security

Compliance and security are paramount in the handling of PHI. Applications within the App Market must meet rigorous security standards, ensuring adherence to HITRUST guidelines and HIPAA regulations. This commitment to security and compliance gives healthcare organizations the confidence to integrate these applications into their systems, knowing that the secure handling, storage, and transmission of PHI is maintained.

Tailored functionality

The Epic App Market hosts a vast selection of applications, allowing healthcare organizations to identify and integrate solutions that best meet their specific operational needs and patient population. This customization can enhance healthcare outcomes, improve patient satisfaction, and drive operational efficiency.

What are the challenges with Epic App Market?

While the platform presents many advantages, there are a few complexities and considerations to be aware of as well. Let’s explore some potential challenges that organizations may encounter when utilizing the Epic App Market. 

Integration complexities

One of the potential challenges with Epic App Market is the integration of third-party applications into existing Epic EHR/EMR systems. This process may require considerable expertise and technical know-how. Even with the use of interoperability standards such as FHIR and HL7, integration can still present technical hurdles. Ensuring seamless data exchange, maintaining data integrity, and coordinating across different systems can be complex and may require the expertise of professionals experienced with both Epic’s system and the specific applications.

Cost considerations

Another potential challenge with Epic App Market is cost. While the platform itself offers access to a variety of applications, the cost of these applications can vary widely. Additionally, there may be costs associated with integrating and maintaining these applications in an organization’s existing system. Budget-conscious healthcare organizations will need to weigh the benefits of an application against its total cost of ownership.

System limitations

Although Epic App Market offers a wealth of applications, each designed to expand upon or enhance the functionality of Epic’s EHR/EMR systems, not all applications may be fully compatible with every version of Epic’s software. Furthermore, some applications might not fully meet an organization’s specific needs or expectations. It’s crucial to thoroughly review and test each application within your specific environment to ensure it meets your needs.

Regulatory compliance

When integrating third-party applications, it’s paramount to ensure they comply with regulations like HIPAA and maintain HITRUST standards for data security. Even though Epic requires applications in the App Market to uphold these standards, healthcare organizations should still perform their due diligence when incorporating new applications into their system.

Training and adoption

Lastly, implementing new applications can present challenges related to staff training and adoption. Staff members need to be effectively trained on each new application’s use, which can require significant time and resources.

Despite these challenges, the potential benefits of utilizing the Epic App Market are significant. With the right guidance, such as expert consultation and development services, these hurdles can be effectively navigated, leading to successful integration and maximization of the platform’s benefits.

An example of an Epic EMR dashboard
Overcoming Epic App Market challenges

While there are indeed challenges associated with using Epic App Market, they can be effectively managed and overcome with the right strategies, expertise, and resources. The goal is to enhance the capabilities of your EHR/EMR systems to deliver better patient care, and with careful planning and implementation, Epic App Market can be a significant asset in achieving this objective.

Leverage expertise

For tackling integration complexities, leveraging the expertise of professionals who are familiar with Epic EHR/EMR systems and the specific applications in the App Market is invaluable. Experienced teams like those at Itirra can provide necessary insights and guidance for seamless integration.

Cost-benefit analysis

To navigate cost considerations, performing a thorough cost-benefit analysis before adopting an application is crucial. Take into account not just the price of the application itself, but also potential costs related to integration, maintenance, and staff training.

Trial and test

To overcome potential system limitations and to ensure an application meets your needs, take full advantage of trial periods and rigorous testing. Verify the application’s compatibility with your version of Epic’s software, and ensure it fits your organization’s specific needs and workflows.

Compliance checks

Maintain regulatory compliance by conducting thorough checks on third-party applications. Even though Epic ensures that applications in the App Market are compliant, performing your due diligence can provide an extra layer of security.

Invest in training

Finally, to facilitate successful adoption of new applications, invest in comprehensive staff training. Providing ongoing education about how to effectively use these applications can significantly streamline the integration process and ensure you’re getting the most out of the Epic App Market.


Epic App Market presents both significant opportunities and challenges for healthcare organizations. As a dynamic marketplace of innovative applications, it enables providers to extend the capabilities of their Epic EHR/EMR systems in meaningful ways. From enhancing patient engagement to improving data interoperability, the benefits of using Epic App Market are compelling.

However, it’s important to approach these tools with a full understanding of potential hurdles. Integration complexities, cost considerations, and system limitations require thoughtful planning and robust strategies to navigate. With the right expertise and resources, these challenges can be effectively managed, maximizing the benefits that Epic App Market brings to the table.

As healthcare continues to evolve and embrace digital transformation, platforms like Epic App Market will only become more vital. Partnering with experienced development teams like Itirra, who can guide you through this complex landscape, can be an invaluable asset for your organization. To embrace the potential of Epic App Market and unlock the full capabilities of your Epic EHR/EMR system, contact our team at Itirra for a consultation.