Skip to content Skip to navigation

KLAS Report: Epic to Non-Epic Data Sharing is Real, but Challenging

May 15, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Providers using non-Epic clinical systems say that while it isn't easy, they are able to share data with Epic, according to a recent report from the Orem, Utah-based KLAS.

As part of this study, KLAS interviewed 28 providers about their experiences with sharing data between the Verona, Wis.-based Epic and non-Epic systems. Some of the areas looked at include the ease of interoperability, the stresses associated with sharing clinical data, and the methods currently being used to share the data.

For the report, "Epic HIE 2014: Everywhere, Elsewhere, or Nowhere Else?" KLAS validated 27 unique instances of Epic customers sharing data with providers using other electronic health records (EHRs). Four out of five are doing so through an intermediary such as a non-Epic health information exchange (HIE) or HISP solution. One out of five is achieving interoperability directly between EHRs. In most cases, information is delivered in a CCD format via industry-standard protocols for pushing (XDR) and pulling data (XCA, XDS.b).

While interoperability standards are supposed to facilitate sharing, most say significant effort is needed to bridge the gap between vendors’ unique implementations of those standards. HIE organizations and non-Epic providers say Epic is capable but inflexible, and that other vendors must meet Epic where Epic stands. This report did not compare standards adherence, but for providers, variability among vendors underscores the value proposition of intermediary HIEs and HISPs.

For Epic end users, sharing with other health systems is a stress-free experience, the report found. Epic handles the configuration, and then the already-familiar Care Everywhere tool suddenly has access to outside data. For non-Epic providers, interoperability is often a bumpier ride. When a vendor does not already support the standards Epic uses, providers often face extensive development and expensive interfaces. Once interoperability is in place, usability varies for non-Epic users: some enjoy easy access to Epic data inside their own EHRs, but others must use HIE portals outside their clinical workflow.

While sharing with other Epic facilities incurs no extra charge, providers mentioned that it does result in new volume-based fees. Some objected to such charges on principle, but most cost-related feedback centered on interfaces—whose costs were seen as reasonable when coming from Epic but prohibitive when coming from other EHR vendors.



Survey: Healthcare Orgs Not Taking Mobile Security Seriously Enough

More than half (56 percent) of healthcare professionals believe their organization could be doing more to educate employees on HIPAA compliance and the rules around sharing protected health information.

Mount Sinai’s Research Arm Using Data Analytics to Address Health Inequities

The Arnhold Institute for Global Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is partnering with DigitalGlobe to create the Health Equity Atlas Initiative (ATLAS), a platform that standardizes and maps population data in order to generate insights that address health inequities.

FDA, Hospitals Work to Improve Data Collection about Medical Devices

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is looking to improve the way it works with hospitals to modernize and streamline data collection, specifically safety data, about medical devices.

McKesson Unveils New Paragon Electronic Health Record Platform

McKesson Enterprise Information Solutions (EIS) announced the latest release of Paragon, its electronic health record (EHR) solution.

Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health are in Merger Talks

Englewood, Colorado-based health system Catholic Health Initiatives is in merger talks with San Francisco-based Dignity Health to potentially create one of the largest nonprofit health systems by revenue in the country.

OSU Wexner Medical Center Receives AHIMA Grace Award

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) received the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) annual Grace Award in recognition of its leadership in health information management.