Completing an Epic certification is a great milestone, but it’s not the finish line in terms of your Epic education.
Until recently, New Version Training (NVT) was the primary requirement for continuing your Epic learning and retaining your certification in a given application. But new requirements—issued near the end of 2016—update the Continuing Epic Education (CEE) program with additional training that must be completed to maintain certifications, proficiencies, and badges.
These changes are fairly significant, and it’s important for Epic consultants to understand how the updated requirements will impact their certification standing.
The new requirements affect everyone who is Epic certified and wants to remain certified. If you are unclear on your certification status, check Epic UserWeb for details.
Application Essentials and Booster Training
NVT requirements are unchanged, but Epic has added two new components to its CEE program: an Application Essentials Assessment, which reinforces knowledge of the core application concepts covered in training, and Booster Training, which highlights more in-depth features of an application, expanding on core certification knowledge.
Epic says certified individuals should expect to take Application Essentials and Booster Training approximately every five years and both should be taken in the same year.
For consultants whose original certification is for Epic 2015 or earlier, the first deadline for completion of these new requirements is July 31, 2018. Check the 'Your Certifications' section of the Training page on Epic UserWeb to confirm any outstanding CEE requirements you may have.
If your CEE requirements are not completed by the due date, your certification will lapse, and cannot be renewed until you retake all of the required exams for the current version.
Prepping for the New Requirements
One of the biggest differences between these new requirements and NVTs is preparation time.
Compared to NVTs, which require a brief online review of new features followed by a short, non-proctored quiz, the exams for the new requirements are more rigorous. Epic says the time commitment for Application Essentials is 6 to 8 hours in total, per certification, including a one-hour, proctored assessment.
You should budget the same amount of time to complete Booster Training, which may include a recorded webcast or self-study material. Epic says the material will also be presented as an instructor-led virtual class for those wanting formal instruction.
All CEE exams require a passing score of 80% or higher. NVTs can be taken an unlimited number of times until you pass. However, if you fail the Application Essentials exam three times, you will need to retake all courses associated with that certification before retaking the assessment. Similarly, you will need to retake the instructor-led virtual class (or self-study) for Booster Training if you fail that assessment three times.
Advice to Our Consultants
Staying current and certified is important for your Epic career. You should check the Training page of UserWeb as soon as possible to review any outstanding educational requirements you may have and the deadlines for completing those requirements.
Don’t wait until 2018 to begin your preparation for these exams. Tackling these requirements early will give you some additional breathing room should you need to take one or more of the exams multiple times to pass.
Epic’s additional requirements will be even more taxing for individuals who maintain multiple certifications. These consultants, in particular, should begin as soon as possible on the requisite preparation for the new exams.
Jeff Mason is Director, EHR Solutions. Prior to joining Healthcare IT Leaders, he supported clients in provider transformation, patient flow, and operational improvement as an Accenture Health consultant. Most recently, he served as the Provider Adoption / Clinician Readiness Lead for a large-scale Epic implementation in the Northeast.