- EMR giant Epic Systems has released an application programming interface designed to allow health IT software developers and medical device manufacturers to work directly with its product.
- The launch of the API came during the company's annual users group meeting, which convened earlier this week.
- The announcement could have a significant ripple effect in the health IT industry, which supports between 1,500 and 2,000 consulting firms specializing in Epic implementation and service.
Historically, Epic has had a reputation for being difficult, if not impossible, to connect in a meaningful way with other EMRs. Epic, which reports that it takes care of more than half of the patients in the country right now, has roundly denied that its technology is not interoperable with other healthcare software, but that has done virtually nothing to silence its critics.
Will creating an API allowing other software developers to connect directly to Epic be a huge change for the company? Will health IT developers truly be able to make Epic EMRs talk to other EMRs, or will this turn out to be a less substantial change that be what is being advertised? Given that Epic has grown to the size it has despite offering relatively closed systems, it seems unlikely that it has changed its strategy completely. Let's see what developers and providers say when they get to play with the API and explore what it can truly accomplish before drawing any conclusions.