- Epic announced the launch a new global interoperability platform called Share Everywhere.
- The technology lets patients grant access to their personal data to any provider with internet access, regardless of whether they have EHRs. Providers can also send progress notes to the patient’s primary care organization, enhancing care coordination and continuity.
- The technology builds on Epic’s Care Everywhere technology, which allows organizations to exchange patient records between Epic and non-Epic systems. Some 2 million records move about on Care Everywhere on a daily basis, according to Epic.
Using their smartphones, patients can forward a view of their Epic chart to any clinician. The patient determines who has access and Epic records each exchange.
Epic is billing the technology as a major step forward in healthcare interoperability, which has been an ongoing challenge for the industry. Lack of interoperability affects everything from integrating digital solutions with EHRs to sharing and integrating health data from across the care spectrum, population health efforts and scaling up digital health in the clinical provider space.
But as healthcare becomes more networked, being able to move seamlessly among disparate systems is not just a luxury — it’s becoming a necessity.
Under the 21st Century Cures Act, passed in December, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is charged with creating a framework for greater interoperability between various players in the healthcare arena. It also tasks HHS with educating providers about health data exchanges.
ONC has met with stakeholders to gather input and hopes to propose a regulation by the end of the year.
“The model of being able to have a closed environment and not be interoperable is behind us,” Ed McCallister, CIO at UPMC, told Healthcare Dive in March. He cited increasing pressures from Washington, DC, as well as patients demanding access to their personal health records.
In fact, EHR vendors like Epic, Cerner and Allscripts are all beginning to embrace open platforms and a more connected digital experience for their clients. The move could open the door to more novel features and capabilities in areas like population health and data sharing.