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Medical Assistant Program Director Discusses the Importance of Epic Training for MA Students

Medical records play an important role in the treatment and care patients receive when they visit their healthcare provider. Records provide insight into a patient’s past and current medical conditions, procedures, complications, and historic lab and testing data – all critical components healthcare providers use to assess a patient’s health and guide current or future treatment plans. One of the primary, emerging technologies used to manage these vital records is an electronic health record platform called Epic-EHR (Electronic Health Records). Understanding how Epic is leveraged in healthcare can provide healthcare professionals such as medical assistants with an advantage as they enter the workforce.

As one of the first universities to offer comprehensive Epic training to medical assistant (MA) students, the University of Providence is providing students with an educational edge by providing them with in-demand skills they can apply immediately in the field. Program Director for the Medical Assistant Certificate program Nichole “Nikki” Garbarino, addressed the importance of Epic training for UP’s MA students, including what Epic is, how it is used in healthcare settings, and how MA students can receive a leg-up advantage as they enter the job market.


What is Epic and how is it applied in medical settings?

“Epic is a comprehensive, integrated software platform designed for managing all aspects of patient care, including clinical, administrative, and financial functions. Epic is widely used in medical settings to record and store patient medical histories, schedule appointments, and manage patient check-ins. Additionally, Epic streamlines communication between different healthcare providers, facilitates the ordering and tracking of tests and medications, enables detailed documentation of patient encounters, and provides decision support through evidence-based guidelines.”


What is Epic training?

“Epic training involves educating healthcare professionals on how to effectively use the Epic software. Training covers various modules tailored to specific roles within a healthcare organization, including navigating the Epic interface, entering, and retrieving patient information, managing patient workflows, utilizing clinical decision support tools, and ensuring compliance with healthcare regulations.”


Why is it important for medical assistants to learn Epic?

“For MAs, learning Epic is crucial for several reasons. First, proficiency in Epic enables them to enter and manage patient data, which significantly reduces errors and enhances the quality, efficiency, and accuracy of patient care. Secondly, a solid understanding of Epic fosters better communication with other healthcare providers, thereby improving coordinated care. Additionally, Epic training ensures that MAs can maintain compliance with healthcare regulations and generate necessary reports with ease.”


How do our Medical Assistant graduates have an advantage with EPIC training?

“Our MA graduates possess a distinct advantage due to their comprehensive, hands-on training with the Epic system. This practical experience ensures they are well-prepared to immediately contribute to any healthcare setting that utilizes Epic. Employers value candidates who are already proficient in Epic, as this reduces the need for extensive on-the-job training and facilitates quicker integration into the workforce. Additionally, our graduates have a robust skill set that encompasses both clinical and technical expertise, making them versatile and highly attractive hires in the healthcare industry.”


How will the Medical Assistant program continue to ensure students receive Epic training?

“At the University of Providence, our Medical Assistant Certificate program is committed to seamlessly integrating comprehensive Epic training into our core curriculum. With all our instructors highly educated, experienced, and certified in Epic, we ensure that students receive top-quality training. This rigorous preparation not only supports our students’ success but also enhances their readiness for the healthcare industry. To maintain the highest standards, our program consistently updates training materials and methods to align with the latest versions of Epic and best practices in healthcare. Through these concerted efforts, UP ensures that MA graduates remain at the forefront of medical assistant training, fully equipped with the skills needed to excel in modern healthcare environments.”


The University of Providence’s Medical Assistant Certificate program provides a comprehensive pathway for those looking to start or advance a career in healthcare. Online coursework is paired with in-person skill labs give students hands-on experiences with industry-specific administrative and clinical skills required of todays MAs. Designed for completion in 10-months, graduates can go on to work across healthcare delivering quality and compassionate patient care.

Visit our Medical Assistant Certificate program page to learn more about our program, including pathways for currently registered MAs and our exam-prep course for those seeking certification.