3 Reasons We’re Attending the 2019 Epic App Orchard Conference

The 2019 Epic App Orchard conference, Epic’s annual event for developers working in its official app store, is being held this year on October 16–18 in Verona, Wisconsin. If you’re an App Orchard member or a digital health leader at an Epic customer that’s looking to leverage external app integrations, the conference is something of a can’t-miss event.

The Arcweb team will be on-site for the third year running, and we’re looking forward to another round of educational sessions, case studies, keynotes, and announcements about the future of the App Orchard program as a whole – some of which may not be officially announced until months later.

Not sure if App Orchard is worth attending? Here are a few of the things that have brought us back to Epic’s campus for another year.

Case Studies and Collaboration

One of the best ways to understand the capabilities off Epic integration is to pay close attention to what other companies are doing within the Epic ecosystem. This year, organizations like Elsevier, PwC, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center are scheduled to go deep on their own integration and app development work, and it’s sure to be deeply informative in terms of creating your own integration strategy.

Here’s our pick for the 3 can’t-miss functional presentations (descriptions taken from Epic’s official conference site):

Aunt Bertha — Closed-Loop Social Resource Referrals in a Native Epic Ecosystem

Social determinants of health (SDOH) play a significant role in a patient’s overall well-being. Come learn about Aunt Bertha’s approach to integration with Epic that directly connects patients to social services and promotes closed-loop communication.

Healthfinch — Lessons Learned Building an Electronic Medical Record App Company

Building a company that can succeed in the EMR marketplaces can be a challenge. During this talk you will learn from Healthfinch and how they were able to successfully expand their services to more than 50 health systems across the country. Lessons learned related to sales, implementations, product and engineering will be explored. 

Duke Health — Integrating Applications with Epic via APIs

Get insight into how one health system evaluates the integration of applications using FHIR and Epic web services. Requests for integrating applications include implementing an existing app published in App Orchard, new startups looking to develop an app to publish, passing data to and from external predictive models, and sharing data with research projects. The process includes stakeholder evaluation of clinical need, patient experience, and clinician experience. It also weighs the functionality against existing and upcoming features in addition to reviewing data input needs, handling of PHI, and deciding whether the app should write back clinically relevant data to the EHR. 

Early Access to Updates & Announcements

App Orchard is an evolving program, and information about its particulars aren’t always transparently available – even for active App Orchard participants. But in years past, Epic’s annual event has given attendees a sneak peek at upcoming changes to the program.

Last year saw the announcement of the App Orchard’s Nursery tier, a new reduced-cost option for newer developers who had not yet released an integration into the marketplace. This year will likely see other announcements about the future of the program – but what exactly they are remains to be seen. (Make sure to sign up for our HealthWire newsletter for our live reporting from the conference.)

Direct Engagement with the Epic Team

Developing for Epic means interacting directly with the Epic team – whether for app approval, technical advice, or simply understanding how your integration strategy fits into their EHR ecosystem. So it should be no surprise that directly access to Epic’s in-house experts is a major motivator for attending the 2019 App Orchard Conference.

Fortunately, learning the ins and outs of Epic from the company’s own in-house experts has been a mainstay of the App Orchard conference since its inception. For the 2019 conference, Epic is dividing the learning opportunities into more granular sub-sessions that each focus on a specific aspect of Epic integration, such as APIs, security, usability, or individual Epic serves like Caboodle.

Each lab repeats multiple times throughout the conference. A full list is available on the official schedule.


Not able to make it this year? Keep an eye out for more news and updates about the 2019 Epic App Orchard Conference in our Healthwire newsletter, and make sure to follow Arcweb on Twitter for live notes and updates about the presentations.

And make sure to check back after the conference has wrapped for our post-conference writeup! (Or check out our 2018 Epic App Orchard recap to see what you missed.)