Epic envisions broader role for EHRs
- Epic officials announced new artificial intelligence and patient engagement tools at its users group meeting this week, Modern Healthcare reported.
- The company is adding cognitive computing to enhance its portal to identify trends and patterns and bring new types of data to the EHR. There will also be new capabilities such as medical benefit checks Surescipts and new functionalities for MyChart. The portal is set for release next year.
- “The EHR is so last year,” Epic CEO Judy Faulkner said. Epic technology will also become more accessible via voice command and mobile devices, WiscNews reported.
The announcements underscore Epic’s desire to make technology more useful in healthcare. In September, the Verona, Wis.-based company launched a global interoperability platform called Share Everywhere with technology that lets patients grant access to personal data to any provider anywhere with internet access — whether or not they have EHRs.
That technology builds on Epic’s Care Everywhere technology, which enables patient records to be exchanged between Epic and non-Epic systems.
Epic has seen a large jump in MyChart adoption in recent years and will soon reach 68 million patients with lifetime MyChart accounts, Sean Bina, vice president of access applications at Epic, told Healthcare Dive following the Share Everywhere announcement. To attract more users, Epic is adding features that go beyond messaging physicians, such as setting up payment plans and reviewing health goals.
The company is also aware of the need for others outside of traditional healthcare organizations — such as social workers or school nurses — to have access to health information.
While some interoperability exists between healthcare organizations, it doesn’t exist between healthcare and social care, Bina noted. “We can’t expect the caregiver on the other side to have the same sort of 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,” he said.
As interoperability across vendors’ systems increases, the opportunities to make EHRs even more useful in patients’ lives and increase patient engagement will be even greater.