What is Epic Beaker?

The fast-growing lab software market is projected to grow to 1.1 billion dollars by 2019, and Epic Beaker, Epic’s entry into the category, is gaining in popularity and use.

Epic Beaker is Epic Systems’ laboratory information system (LIS) for hospitals, clinics, patient service centers and reference labs. The software supports common workflows for clinical pathology (CP) labs as well as anatomic pathology (AP) labs.

Beaker’s barcode-enabled workflows allow lab techs to track specimens within and across sites beginning at the point of collection. Barcoding also ensures accurate specimen handling.

In addition to specimen collection and tracking, core Beaker functionality supports workflows for:

  • General lab
  • Microbiology
  • Hematology
  • Quality control
  • Client support
  • Surgical pathology
  • Histology
  • Cytology

For Epic customers, a principal benefit of Beaker is seamless native data transfer from the LIS to the Epic EMR. According to Epic product literature, this integration “ensures clean orders, streamlines result reporting and reduces duplication down to the result-component level.”

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Dashboards, pre-configured reports and ad-hoc reports enabled through the Epic Reporting Workbench measure common lab metrics, such as blood culture results, phlebotomy collect to laboratory receive time and critical results missing documentation in communication logs.

Add-on Epic products commonly used with Beaker include:

  • Rover: A handheld app for mobile phlebotomy. Enabled for iOS devices, Rover allows for bedside patient specimen collection and the printing of specimen labels.
  • EpicCare Link: A web-based portal for lab outreach business.
  • Reference Lab Billing: Billing software for tests completed in the lab.

Hospitals using Epic Beaker

Two prominent academic medical centers have recently implemented Beaker. Stanford Medical Center transitioned to the system in February 2015 following a multi-year system build and training project.

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics went live on Epic Beaker in August 2014 with an upgrade to Beaker version 2014 in May 2015. Iowa’s Director of Clinical Laboratories and others involved in the project wrote extensively about their implementation experience in The Journal of Academic Pathology.

According to a November 2015 vendor survey on CAP Today, Epic has 62 contracted and operational Beaker sites in the U.S. Another 33 are signed but not yet operational. The last Beaker product release was June 2015 (version Epic 2015).

A 2015 Peer60 survey identifies Epic Beaker as fifth in total LIS market share (with 7% of the market) but tops in “mind share” leadership. KLAS Research in its 2016 Best in KLAS report ranked Epic Beaker LIS second in overall performance among popular laboratory solutions behind top-ranked McKesson lab.

Epic Beaker job outlook

Beaker adoption means new opportunities for qualified consultants and FTEs looking for analyst and trainer roles. Implementation experience, certification in Beaker CP and/or AP along with the latest New Version Training (NVT) are skills highly sought by employers. Search available Epic Beaker jobs here.