Epic + interoperability: 7 notes

Epic has been working on interoperability for years and announced new efforts in recent months.

Nearly 2,000 hospitals and 45,000 clinics use Epic EHR, and the ability to interoperate with other systems will ensure clinicians have the most updated information possible to care for patients.

Seven points:

1. Epic started working on Care Everywhere, a toolset to facilitate treatment-based interoperability, more than a decade ago, and it went live with customers in 2008. The toolset connects healthcare providers using Epic to providers using other platforms.

2. The company's Share Everywhere platform can temporarily provide access to a patient's medical record. Epic users can create a one-time-use share code for their records and allow members of their care team outside of the Epic network to see their medical record.

3. The Epic EHR has connected with the VA, Social Security Administration and Defense Department since 2011 to share medical information for active and former service members.

4. Fifty percent of the 10 million charts shared on Epic's community exchanges on a daily basis are with other vendors, including the federal partners, health information exchanges and direct messaging.

5. Epic is one of the founding members of Carequity, an interoperability framework that aims to share healthcare information securely across geographical boundaries. Carequity members exchange 300 million documents per month and connect 600,000 providers across the U.S.

6. In June, Epic revealed plans to join the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement, a new health information exchange framework, as an inaugural qualified health information network. The company has also collaborated with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the Sequoia Project and others to build the principles and procedures of TEFCA.

7. There are still improvements Epic is working on for interoperability to allow individuals to access information and share with others, Matt Doyle, Epic's software development team lead, told Becker's during an interview in August. The company has focused recent efforts on the Epic patient portal, MyChart, for capabilities such as refilling prescriptions. Mr. Doyle said interoperability efforts will continue and MyChart will become more sophisticated.

"We'll find new ways to be innovative. We'll find new ways to weave it into the moment where it's really going to impact the health of you and all the people that we care about," he said.

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