Epic Willow

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Epic Willow Ambulatory is the outpatient pharmacy module created by Epic Systems and the beta was released in 2010.[1][2] Epic Willow accesses the same database as EpicCare and it shares many of the same master files utilized by Epic Hyperspace.[2] Willow fully integrates with the Epic platform to allow for retrieval of outpatient pharmacy prescription claim information by providers using Epic Hyperspace.[2] Providers may also access entire medication histories for their patients and actively track medication dispenses occurring at any of the integrated pharmacy locations.[2] Aspirin coming from the Willow tree was inspiration for Epic Systems selecting the name Willow for it's outpatient pharmacy system.[3]

Standards Supported by Epic Willow

Epic Willow supports a variety of open standards shared by the Epic Platform. The supported standards include: Health Level 7 version 2 (HL7V2), Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) Profiles, Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), Digital Imaging and Communications (DICOM) Standards, The National Council for Prescription Drug Programs (NCPDP) Standards, ASC X12, and Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM).[4]

Willow supports NCPDP SCRIPT 10.6 for communicating the following actions:[5]

  • Outgoing Medication Orders
  • Incoming Medication Refill Requests
  • Outgoing Medication History Query
  • Incoming Medication Orders
  • Outgoing Medication Refill Requests

Willow utilizes NCPDP Telecom version D.0 for prescription adjudication and provides a real-time interface for transmitting the prescription copay and pharmacy reimbursement amount. The following message standard, NCPDP 2013101, allows the provider to electronically request a prior authorization for a prescription and receive an electronic approval or denial from the Pharmacy Benefits Manager. Willow supports both Emdeon and RelayHealth integrations for outgoing pharmacy claim adjudication.[5]

Epic Willow at OHSU

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) transitioned from GE Centricity to Epic Willow at its 8 retail pharmacy sites on August 24, 2013.[6] OHSU employs a local informatics team, the Willow Ambulatory team, to provide frontline support during system installation and ongoing support for system issues and upgrades. The Willow Ambulatory team communicates directly with Epic in Wisconsin and coordinates with Epic support to make localized support for Willow at OHSU possible.[7] Epic Willow at OHSU currently integrates with a variety of pharmacy systems by external vendors. These systems include: VoiceTech Integrated Voice Response, GSL Intellicab, RMS Point of Sale, Surescripts, ScriptPro, and RelayHealth.[2]


Epic Willow Ambulatory was named as the category leader in "Retail Pharmacy - Outpatient" for 2016/2017 by the independent ratings firm KLAS.[8] Epic Willow also won KLAS awards in 2009[9], 2010[10], 2011[11], 2012[12], and 2013.[13]


  1. "Integration with Epic Willow Ambulatory" https://www.emporos.net/products/epic
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 OHSU Pharmacy Pulse Newsletter, May 2013: Volume 28, Issue 10. https://bridge.ohsu.edu/health/pharmacy/inpt/rxpulse/Pharmacy%20Pulse%20-%20May%202013.pdf
  3. "What’s In a Name?" https://www.epic.com/epic/post/1818
  4. Open.Epic List of Supported Standards. https://open.epic.com/Interface/
  5. 5.0 5.1 Open.Epic List of NCPDP Standards Supported by Epic. https://open.epic.com/Interface/NCPDP
  6. OHSU Pharmacy Pulse Newsletter, September 2013: Volume 29, Issue 2. https://bridge.ohsu.edu/health/pharmacy/inpt/rxpulse/Pharmacy%20Pulse%20-%20September%202013.pdf
  7. OHSU Pharmacy Pulse Newsletter, November 2012: Volume 28, Issue 4. https://bridge.ohsu.edu/health/pharmacy/inpt/rxpulse/Pharmacy%20Pulse%20-%20November%202012.pdf
  8. Epic Named "Best Overall" for 7th Consecutive Year. https://www.epic.com/epic/post/2726
  9. "KLAS releases list of 20 best software vendors for 2009." http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/klas-releases-list-20-best-software-vendors-2009
  10. "KLAS Announces the Year's Best-Performing Healthcare IT Software and Services Vendors." http://www.24-7pressrelease.com/press-release/klas-announces-the-years-bestperforming-healthcare-it-software-and-services-vendors-186858.php
  11. "Epic tops 2011 Best in KLAS Awards." http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/epic-tops-2011-best-klas-awards
  12. "Epic tops 2012 Best in KLAS Awards." http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/epic-tops-2012-best-klas-awards
  13. "2013 Best in KLAS Awards" https://www.itnonline.com/article/2013-best-klas-awards

Submitted by Lucas Newman