Epic president testifies on interoperability

At an Aug. 15 meeting of the governance subgroup of the Health IT Policy Committee, Epic President Carl Dvorak asserted the EHR platform is able to, and has successfully, exchanged data with a large variety of facilities and IT systems.

According to his testimony, Epic processes more than 20 billion data transactions annually through more than 12,000 interfaces between Epic products and other vendors' systems. Epic users have successfully exchanged data with EHRs developed by 26 major EHR vendors as well as with regional health information exchanges and the national eHealth Exchange. In July 2014, the majority of data exchanges with non-Epic systems were direct EHR-to-EHR exchanges, according to data provided by Mr. Dvorak.

Mr. Dvorak's testimony follows an increased focus on EHR interoperability on Capitol Hill, with a significant amount of focus on Epic. Last month, Rep. Phil Gingrey, MD (R-Ga.) blasted  Epic during a hearing on technology and healthcare hosted by the Subcommittees on Communications and Technology and Health, saying the platform is not interoperable.

Other Congressional leaders have joined Rep. Gingrey in seeking further investigation into potentially uninteroperable EHR platforms. In comments attached to a recent spending bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee has asked the ONC to investigate if some EHR platforms are intentionally blocking data exchange and to "take steps to decertify products that proactively block the sharing of information." The senators, Democrats and Republicans, say not doing so would both limit the clinical and operational benefits of EHRs and be misusing the taxpayer dollars that are funding the meaningful use program.

More articles on Epic:

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