Cerner vs. Epic EHR (2023 Comparison) (2023)

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Cerner and Epic are two of the biggest names in the electronic health record (EHR) landscape. Both offer impressive cloud-based solutions for patient communication, clinician charting and revenue cycle management. But with so many features available, these companies don’t make it easy to compare their services. If your company is trying to decide between the two, we’ll help you see who comes out on top in the battle between Cerner vs. Epic.

Cerner vs. Epic: At a Glance

Cerner (which was acquired by Oracle in 2022) offers a suite of solutions and services that can help healthcare organizations integrate their operational, clinical and financial tools in an all-in-one system. Because it has dozens of clinical specializations, it’s the preferred tool for specialists and doctors’ offices that require a tool customized for their profession.

To help a health organization run smoother, Cerner offers a real-time health system that delivers near-instant data. Not only can this help providers make better care decisions for patients, but it can also improve operational efficiency and care monitoring.

Epic provides built-in-house electronic health record software for a wide range of hospitals and medical centers. Its large-scale platform is best for bigger healthcare systems that need to store and organize large amounts of data. These types of providers use Epic to host over 305 million patients’ records.

One feature that sets Epic apart is its customer relationship management (CRM) tool, Cheers. This software can provide call centers with patients’ medical histories, making scheduling and answering health questions far easier on both parties.

Both services offer the essentials, including telehealth functionality, a robust patient-facing platform and mobile charting to make things easier on staff. They also offer interoperability with various healthcare networks to allow for seamless integration of data between systems and providers.


Cerner vs. Epic EHR (2023 Comparison) (1)


Cerner vs. Epic EHR (2023 Comparison) (2)

Our ratings take into account a product's cost, features, ease of use, customer service and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Starting Price

Contact for a quote

Telehealth Services

Virtual visits, screen share, online scheduling

Practice Management

Registration, accounts and engagement

Cerner vs. Epic EHR (2023 Comparison) (3)

Learn More Cerner vs. Epic EHR (2023 Comparison) (4)

Via partner site

Why We Picked It

Cerner’s EHR system is called Millennium. It integrates across the continuum of care to help providers make the best decision for each and every patient. Additionally, it includes predictive algorithms for alerts, meaning you can get an update anytime something is likely to go wrong.

Physicians can easily share evidence-based data on over 3,000 topics with patients. If they’d like to access patient charts on the go, they can use the PowerChart Touch app to see lab results, documentation and current orders. On the patient side, they can message their doctor with questions, view all of their medical information, book an appointment, request a refill and even update or send information.

Another feature Cerner comes with is the HealtheReferrals platform that lets you identify top sources of leakage across the organization, build a provider directory and match patients to providers based on their needs. Millennium also integrates with the CommonWell Health Alliance, meaning it can interoperate with facilities and clinicians across the country.

Pros & Cons

  • Better for smaller practices
  • Offers consulting and practice management features
  • Includes real-time data
  • Over 50 third-party integrations
  • HealtheReferrals platform integrates across any EHR and payer
  • Array of features is confusing to navigate
  • Requires more training
  • Pricing isn’t transparent

Epic EHR

Cerner vs. Epic EHR (2023 Comparison) (5)


Cerner vs. Epic EHR (2023 Comparison) (6)

Our ratings take into account a product's cost, features, ease of use, customer service and other category-specific attributes. All ratings are determined solely by our editorial team.

Starting Price

Contact for a quote

Telehealth Services

Virtual visits, online estimates, online health record

Practice Management

Not available

Starting Price

Contact for a quote

Telehealth Services

Virtual visits, online estimates, online health record

Practice Management

Not available

Why We Picked It

EpicCare is a fully loaded EHR software that includes a number of features, including patient flow tools. You can use predictive analysis to guess the number of upcoming admissions, as well as the capacity command center to see which locations have free beds. The transfer center tool also helps you coordinate patient movement between facilities, as does the integrated transport request function.

Epic also provides access to Cosmos, a data set that curates billions of clinical data. With this, you can use on-demand self-service reporting for real-time data from patients as well as peer benchmarks and clinical trials to see the latest developments in the field.

MyChart is Epic’s patient-facing portal, and it allows patients to schedule appointments, book a virtual visit and much more. As for interoperability, Epic connects to the Carequality network, which links to numerous EHRs around the nation. Epic also has two separate mobile apps to allow clinicians to access patient data on the go. For web access, clinicians can use the EpicCare Link portal. It offers access to visit information, diagnoses, lab and imaging results and much more. For a more detailed breakdown of Epic, read our Epic EHR review

Pros & Cons

  • Better for larger healthcare systems
  • Includes a CRM
  • Easier to use—less training required
  • Two kinds of mobile chart access
  • Connects with the Carequality network
  • Doesn’t offer practice management features
  • Pricing isn’t transparent
  • No third-party app integrations

How the Products Stack Up

Cerner Epic EHR

Cerner vs. Epic EHR (2023 Comparison) (9)

Cerner vs. Epic EHR (2023 Comparison) (10)

Starting PriceContact rep for quoteContact rep for quote
Free TrialNoNo
Telehealth FeaturesVirtual visits, screen share, online schedulingVirtual visits, online estimates, online health record
Patient PortalHealtheLife—schedule/view appointments, see medications/test results, secure messaging, pay bills, health assessments and tracking toolsMyChart—schedule/view appointments, see mediations/test results, get price estimates, share records, secure messaging
Third-Party IntegrationsOver 50Not available
EHR Network ConnectionsCommonWell Health AllianceCarequality
Mobile Chart AccessPowerChart TouchHaiku (Apple and Android) and Canto (iPad)
Revenue Cycle ManagementPatient access, patient accounting, case management, health information managementDynamic scheduling, referral management, patient financial experience, price estimates, electronic coverage verification
Customer Support24/7 eService support, separate client and physician ambulatory phone support, uCern forumPhone, separate training, MyChart and UserWeb email support

As you can see, both Cerner and Epic are loaded with features. Neither offers transparent pricing or a free trial, but you likely wouldn’t dive into either solution without a thorough discussion with sales reps, anyway.

Both services offer telehealth, including virtual visits and online scheduling. Epic does have more functionality when it comes to online estimates and pricing, which makes sense since it’s geared toward bigger healthcare systems.

Mobile chart access for providers is also a cinch, as both providers have dedicated apps. PowerChart Touch from Cerner might have the edge, as it works on both smartphones and tablets. Epic, on the other hand, has separate apps for different devices, which could make things confusing for users.

Telehealth Services

Remote care is the way of the future, and Cerner and Epic are both looking forward. They each offer plenty of virtual services for patients. Since each EHR hosts records remotely, both you and patients can access and update them anywhere in the world—no in-person visit required.

Virtual visits, online scheduling and a digital front door are standard for both software. But Epic takes things a step further by providing a digital companion for patients. The app can send patients notifications about their progress or guidance if they have specific questions. It can even integrate with home monitoring devices so you can stay up to date with their condition.

Cerner, on the other hand, offers video visits where guests can invite guests—good if a patient wants support or needs help understanding their medical condition. Patients can also join visits via text and screen share as needed throughout the appointment. They don’t have to download an app, which makes things a lot easier for them.


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One big drawback of Epic is that it doesn’t have third-party app integrations—you’d have to build them yourself if you want them. Cerner, on the other hand, integrates easily with over 50 applications. This allows you to share patient records in a number of ways, all without having to find a programmer to design your own workaround.

However, both services do integrate with EHR networks—Cerner with CommonWell Health Alliance and Epic with Carequality—which makes it easier to share patient records across different providers. Currently, CommonWell Health Alliance partners with over 30 EHR providers, while Carequality partners with over 35. That said, both the Carequality and CommonWell networks can connect with each other, so this might be a moot point in the Cerner vs. Epic comparison.

Epic also has methods in place to allow non-interoperable EHR users to view patient data. EpicCare Link lets clinicians view a patient’s record from a facility that uses Epic. Epic users can share this information without compromising patient confidentiality.

There’s also the Community Connect program, which allows organizations that use Epic to share their Epic software with others. This means that clinicians without EHR software can use Epic as long as they’re in partnership with an Epic-using organization.

Patient Portal

Having a solid patient portal saves you time answering patients’ questions, so it’s a must-have for any healthcare organization. Cerner’s HealtheLife and Epic’s MyChart have similar functionalities. They both offer basics including secure messaging with providers, appointment scheduling, bill pay and access to medical records.

HealtheLife goes a step further with personalized health assessments that offer patients a health score and lets them know if they’re at risk for any conditions. If so, they can participate in an educational health action plan and use provided tools to track weight, activity and more.

MyChart, on the other hand, offers more payment and insurance features. For example, patients can set up payment plans or request financial assistance right from the portal. They can also message billing staff with questions. MyChart also includes health-centric features such as connections with Fitbit and Apple Health, links to research studies patients can qualify for and genetic testing results.

Revenue Cycle Management

One useful feature both software offer is revenue cycle management. Cerner claims its management strategy is patient-focused with automated scheduling and intake workflows. It also includes patient accounting features such as billing, charge capture and contract management so your back-office workflows can stay efficient.

Its case management tools also let your teams collaborate during clinical reviews so you can plan the entire care plan at once. Finally, health information management systems connect your clinical information to a third-party coder to ensure every visit is accurately billed.

Epic’s revenue cycle management functions in a similar way. You can schedule visits dynamically and manage authorizations and referrals beforehand to ensure insurance compliance. You can even utilize the digital front door tool, which lets patients create their own estimates for services and set up payments all from the same platform.

Epic also has electronic insurance coverage verification, which should save tons of time on paperwork. You can confirm patients are eligible right away, which should speed up the claims process.

Ease of Use

We’ll be upfront—both Cerner and Epic are difficult programs to use. They have a lot of complicated features that will take users time and training to learn.

However, according to user reviews, Cerner is a slightly more difficult interface to manage. Its design is more modern and pleasing to the eye, but workflows can be hard to navigate without a lot of training. Users of EpicCare, on the other hand, praise its detailed and fast portal. The interface looks clunkier and less sleek, but it’s easier to navigate and get things done.


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Bottom Line

Both Cerner and Epic are top-of-the-line electronic health record services, so you can’t go wrong with either. They’ll offer modern patient and physician portals that can get the job done faster and easier. That said, each software will work better for certain users.

Overall, we’d pick Cerner for clinical practices and specialties. The fact that it has versions available for over 50 unique care providers makes it super compatible with various fields of medicine.

However, Epic is our pick for bigger hospitals and care networks. It has fully robust features that are meant to handle the billing and estimate frustrations larger providers have.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is more popular, Cerner or Epic?

Both EHR systems are extremely popular. As of 2020, 29% of acute care hospitals use Epic, while 26% use Cerner.

Is Epic or Cerner better?

Which system is better depends on what you’re looking for. Ambulatory clinicians generally prefer Cerner, while larger hospital systems are better suited to Epic. If you need help choosing, check out our list of the best EHR software.

Does Epic or Cerner cost more?

Unfortunately, both companies are tight-lipped about their pricing. To find out pricing, you’ll have to contact each company directly for a quote.

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