Epic, the Verona, Wisconsin-based medical records software giant, shook many of its employees to their core with a company-wide email sent out last Thursday that outlined an impending restructure. Thousands of employees will be affected, as the email listed four major departments that would be funneled down into one new one, to be called Application Services. Effective immediately, those working in the Implementation, End User Training, Quality Assurance, and Technical Communications divisions will now function as a single unit.
The email seemed to assure employees that their positions were not in jeopardy: "There will be positions in this new division for all staff from these teams, and training will be provided to help with the transition as you take on new responsibilities," it said. "This change will provide opportunities to go beyond current boundaries and develop broader expertise."
However, some employees still expressed concerns. According to anonymous sources within Epic, there is very little overlap between the four departments, which raises many questions for some as to how these very different units will be able to function under one leadership team, and how a single department can achieve cohesion amidst a wide range of differing skill sets.
The recent announcement comes only a few short days after another memo that inflamed tensions between employees and leadership. Epic’s CEO Judy Faulkner cited a loss of company culture caused by COVID-19’s shelter-at-home orders. She called for her 9,000 employees to return to their brick-and-mortar offices and abandon their remote working routines. This caused a bit of a local uproar, as even city health officials chimed in regarding the dangers of heading back to the central office.
Epic backpedaled, rescinding its earlier order, but Faulkner maintained that she will continue to work with public health officials to determine a safe and healthy way to return to work, and that she hopes Epic can “ be a model for others for how to return to work safely."
As of now, Epic plans on allowing its employees to continue working remotely, but the picture remains murky of how it plans to accomplish a major consolidation via virtual channels.