Whether planned or unplanned, downtime procedures in any system directly impact clinicians and other employees by limiting their capabilities to access information and complete tasks. And, too often, organizations fall victim by not outlining or executing a plan for scheduled downtime, regularly reviewing processes and procedures within their Epic system, or not having the right team or resources in place to handle downtime whenever and wherever it occurs.

Read on to learn more about Epic Downtime, as well as where our senior-level Epic consultants can fit in your organization.

What is BCA in Epic?

Business Community Access (BCA) is Epic’s strategy to ensure core business operations are maintained properly and efficiently during computer, mobile device, or software downtime (i.e., Server/Network Downtime, Power Outages, Connection Issues). The functionality and accessibility of Epic’s downtime applications can be personalized depending on your organization’s settings or preferences within Epic.

Epic’s TogetherCare downtime tools include…

  • Shadow Read Only (SRO) Environment
  • BCA Print (PC)
  • BCA Web and Data Entry (WDE)

BCA reports generally contain the most important clinical information for patients, and the core data reports simplify configurations between BCA reports and BCA tools, like PCs and WDE, to help improve visibility for patient data.

What is Epic Downtime?

Epic Downtime falls under two main categories: Scheduled and Unscheduled. Let’s take a closer look at each of the downtime events and a few key differences between the two…

Scheduled Downtime

Scheduled downtime is a controlled event within your Epic system, and scheduling downtime in your system will depend on the amount of time needed for your systems to be offline to conduct testing or implement new changes.

The duration of scheduled downtime is also dependent on the complexity and duration of the implementation, integration, or upgrade.

Unscheduled Downtime

Unscheduled downtime is an uncontrolled event that is typically attributed to generalized causes, including power failures, software issues, air conditioning failure in computers, network failures, and more.

This kind of downtime can be the result of the system “self-diagnosing” and shutting itself down or IT will take the system down to take corrective action on an immediate issue in the system.

Main Levels of Downtime in Epic

There are typically three different application levels when it comes to Epic Downtime: SRO, BCA Web, and BCA PC. During Epic implementation processes, downtime procedures will limit the functionality and accessibility of certain features and tools within the Epic system.

Here are the main levels of Epic Downtime, as well as where each of them can fit in your organizational structure and downtime plans…

1) SRO (Read-Only)

In a Shadow Read Only (SRO) downtime scenario, users are granted access to a read-only copy of their Epic system that includes all information from the patient’s chart.

SRO is available on any clinical or mobile workstation, and it allows users to navigate through their Epic applications normally, with the exception of restricted permissions for entering discrete clinical documentation into the system.

2) BCA Web

With BCA Web functionality Epic users can not only view patient downtime reports on any device, but they can also access their clinical or mobile workstations whenever and wherever they need them to view, analyze, or exchange important patient data.

BCA Web also gives clinicians and other staff members the functionality needed to view clinical reports for patients, but it does not allow them to enter discrete information into the system. Instead, users must use downtime paper forms to document changes to the site, data, or functionality during downtime.


In using a BCA PC application, users have the functionality needed to run relevant reports at intervals and download them to the BCA PC’s hard drive for longer-term storage. For example, providing your employees access to important Medication Administration Report (MAR) information can be the difference in life or death when it comes to giving a patient the right type and amount of medication during a procedure or recovery.

BCA PC functionality it usually leveraged by Epic users to view and print downtime reports containing important patient information up until the point in time in which the downtime event occurs. This way, clinicians and other staff members can easily access patient data to better understand how the downtime event affected internal data flow and storage.

How Can We Help?

Whether you need help implementing or integrating new Epic modules or applications, leveraging BCA PC to view and print clinical information in patient reports, maximizing the effectiveness of your reports, or anything else Epic-related, Surety Systems is here to help.

Your technology. Your priorities. Our expertise. That’s the name of the game with our team.

Getting Started with Us

Our team of senior-level Epic consultants has the technical skills, functional expertise, and real-world experience needed to lead you to success, regardless of the size, scale, or scope of your project needs.

Interested in learning more about our Epic consulting services and where our consultants can fit in your organization?

Contact us today to get started on a project with us!