Princeternship stories: Eric Chen ’19, Epic

When I arrived at Epic, I met with Gina Davis ’10, who helped coordinate the Princeternship, to see a product demo of Epic software. The software suite that Epic produces is truly massive. Driven by the mission of one medical record for every patient, Epic produces software so that everything a hospital does—from routine checkups to emergency room visits to prescriptions—can be housed in one electronic record. Right now, an impressive 57 percent of patients in the U.S. are covered by Epic software, a number which shows how working at Epic really does impact millions of lives everyday.
IMG_20160104_163426655When I first met my host Todd Dale ‘09, a technical services engineer and technical coordinator, he was on a conference call supporting a hospital’s installation of Epic software. I quickly learned that because of the nature of healthcare software, technical support is critically important. For one, system downtime can have a very negative impact on hospitals. It doesn’t matter if the power goes out or natural disaster strikes, Todd works with hospitals to ensure that their particular installation of Epic software will have as close to 100 percent uptime as possible. In this call, I saw Epic’s core tenet of doing right by the customer. Todd and his team work one-on-one with hospitals to make sure that Epic software works for the customer as well as possible.

Even though Todd’s main job is technical services for hospitals, the open and flexible culture at Epic allows him to wear many different hats every day. For Todd, this means that he is also the lead developer of an internal staffing tool for team managers at the company—a tool that he started out of his own need.

At one design meeting, Todd was pitching a new website design to improve workflows for managers using his tool. I’m not too familiar with developing in teams, so it was great to see Todd balancing his own vision for features with the opinions and demands of others in the room.

As we were bouncing between meetings, I got a chance to see some more of Epic’s campus, which reflects the general workplace culture of innovation, creativity and fun. Todd works in the jungle-themed building, but we passed through a Scandinavian building, New York City-themed areas, as well as an Indiana Jones hallway, where we had our picture taken. 

As my day of shadowing Todd revealed, there is an infinite number of jobs that can be done at any point in time, so there is no reason to limit your work to your job title because, oftentimes, your best work will be a product of pursuing what no one else thought to do.

A huge thank you to Gina and Doug for taking time out of their day to help me, and especially to Todd who graciously let me shadow him and introduced me to the expansive and fascinating world of Epic and healthcare software.