- Epic CEO Judy Faulkner is ready to shift the focus from EHR to CHR — comprehensive health record, Healthcare IT News reports.
- The shift in thinking recognizes the increasing importance of social determinants in predicting health outcomes. Much of that data, such as how much people sleep, their access to healthy food and whether they are lonely, is not typically captured in today’s EHRs. CHRs would fold in social and community care to more traditional types of healthcare.
- “If you want to keep patients well and you want to get paid, you’re going to have to have a comprehensive health record,” Faulkner told the publication. “You’ll need to use software as your central nervous system, and that’s how you standardize and manage your organization.”
Epic and other legacy EHR companies have shown signs of change recently, embracing open platforms and a more connected digital experience for their customers. As providers continue to roll out EHRs and use them more frequently, patients are starting to develop their own expectations.
Last month, Epic launched a global interoperability platform called Share Everywhere that lets patients grant access to their personal data to any provider with internet access, whether or not they have EHRs. Providers can also send progress notes to patients’ primary care providers, increasing care coordination.
Patient engagement has been a theme of health IT this year, but there are challenges. Providers and patients have been slow to embrace patient portals, and some research has shown online doctor visits can have unintended consequences like an increase in unneeded care.
The Share Everywhere platform enables data sharing between Epic and non-Epic systems, signalling a move toward more comprehensive and all-inclusive personal health records.
Epic and other vendors are seeing an increasing need to share health data outside of traditional venues. “There are all these different intersections between social care and healthcare,” Sean Bina, vice president of access applications at Epic, told Healthcare Dive in September. “We can’t expect the caregiver on the other side to have that same interoperability, so we want to target that and make it possible for patients, as appropriate and under their control, to be able to share their information.”
The company also recently announced new artificial intelligence and patient engagement tools. The cognitive computing will allow Epic’s portal to identify trends and patterns and capture new types of data in the electronic record.