A lot, to say the least.
So much has changed over the past few years in the world of Epic Willow pharmacy and in the world of Epic in general. Thanks to the pandemic of 2020, even the world of healthcare IT had to learn to pivot and adjust to new ways of doing things.
When the world went on lockdown, things we never thought possible started to become imaginable.
Part of the charm of training to be an Epic Willow pharmacist was going to the Epic campus in Verona, Wisconsin and being on the big magical Epic campus.
And “magical” is truly the only way to describe the Epic campus. They planned it to be that way.
But with the virus spreading at a high rate and the outcomes of infected people ranging from mild symptoms to terminal illness, inviting new trainees to get on planes and converge in the classrooms of the campus just didn’t appear to be a smart thing to do.
So guess what…?
Epic started offering remote certification classes via Zoom! Yes, Zoom!
Pros & Cons of Remote Epic Willow Certification Classes
- Less risk of disease transmission at the height of the pandemic
- Lower cost to the organizations since they don’t have to pay for airfare, hotel, food, etc.
- New analysts were still able to get trained for their jobs
- Hospitals can move ahead with their plans to switch to Epic
- More capacity in each training session i.e. not limited by the size of the training rooms
- Remote learning is not easy, especially for the tech-naïve
- Possibility of missing training due to poor internet connections (the show must go on even if you lose connectivity)
- Trainees who have never been to the Epic campus miss out on the energy that comes from just being there in person
- Foregoing the ability to attend in-person study hall after class and get direct help from the trainers
Overall, in my personal opinion, I think the introduction of remote/virtual Epic training classes is a good thing. Their operation now runs like a very well-oiled machine.
However, there are some caveats to who can and/or should attend the virtual training sessions and who can and/or should attend the live in-person training sessions.
In the world of Epic, many analysts get multiple certifications. That’s the good thing about getting into the Epic ecosystem. You can actually move around between applications.
For example, a pharmacist can be on the Willow team (the pharmacy application) and can also get certified as a Beacon analyst (the oncology application) because pharmacists are needed in both of these specialties.
So Epic declared that if you have previously attended a training on their campus in person, you have the option to not attend any additional trainings in person. However, if you’re a brand new analyst to Epic, they require you to attend your training in person on their campus. Fair enough.
What Do These Changes in the World of Epic Mean to You?
Potentially, more opportunity to get into healthcare IT. With the ability to train virtually now being a possibility, where just a few short years ago when I first got into this world it seemed almost impossible, organizations are now thinking outside the box and exploring all the things that could be possible.
Pharmacy positions that we thought required a pharmacist to be physically in one location to get the job done are now exploring and experimenting with ways of accomplishing the same tasks remotely.
Now I don’t mean to imply that these major changes are all coming about because of Epic, but I mean that the fact that companies are re-thinking how they do things and seeing that some of these new ways of doing things can actually increase both productivity as well revenue, is a good thing for pharmacists willing to try something different.
If you’re a pharmacist looking to get out of retail or leave the central pharmacy and still work within your profession but have the options to work remotely, there are jobs and companies out there that are progressive and that offer these opportunities. Some are clinical and some are in tech, but they’re out there for sure.
If you need help navigating the job market and locating these positions, I can help. The last four jobs I have had, and now this current position as an Epic analyst, have all been remote pharmacist jobs. One of them was a clinical position too!
I am now offering 1:1 consultations and you can pick a time slot on my calendar here. I can answer questions you have about becoming an Epic analyst, or finding tele-pharmacy positions, or what the process of transitioning into Epic Willow is like.
If you’ve browsed the Q&A section but you still have questions unique to your own situation that you want a personal answer to, then select a date and time on my calendar and let’s talk! 🙂