Epic initiative seeks to facilitate data exchange

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Epic Systems is implementing a program to make it easier for client organizations to share electronic heath record data with each other as well as with healthcare organizations that don’t use Epic systems.

Under the One Virtual System Worldwide service, Epic will search for and collect patient records from clients and other organizations that use other EHRs and networks that work with the Epic clients, enabling outside clinicians to have a merged view of information on a patient from multiple provider organizations. The capability of gathering data is intended to eliminate gaps in care.

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The information received from organizations that use Epic, and from those that use other companies’ applications, are expected to be as easy to read as if all the information came from one organization, according to the vendor.

Further, Epic’s MyChart patient portal will give patients a combined view of their healthcare records across organizations, without having to log in and out of multiple patient portals.

“We’re taking interoperability from being able to ‘view more’ to being able to ‘do more,’ ” says Dave Fuhrmann, vice president of interoperability at Epic. About two-thirds of patients in the United States have one or more records in Epic EHRs.

Other features of the new service include:

• Client clinicians will be able to see image thumbnails from other Epic customers, click on the thumbnail and get the image for review.

• Schedulers referring patients to other Epic users can book the appointments in the scheduling system.

• Clinicians can send secure messages into the basket of clinicians at other organizations, which will aid the referral process.

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