KLAS Report: Epic to Non-Epic Data Sharing is Real, but Challenging | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology 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.

Topics

News

Community Data Sharing: Eight Recommendations From San Diego

A learning guide focuses on San Diego’s experience in building a community health information exchange and the realities of embarking on a broad community collaboration to achieve better data sharing.

HealthlinkNY’s Galanis to Step Down as CEO

Christina Galanis, who has served as president and CEO of HealthlinkNY for the past 13 years, will leave her position at the end of the year.

Email-Related Cyber Attacks a Top Concern for Providers

U.S. healthcare providers overwhelmingly rank email as the top source of a potential data breach, according to new research from email and data security company Mimecast and conducted by HIMSS Analytics.

Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.

Allscripts Touts 1 Billion API Shares in 2017

Officials from Chicago-based health IT vendor Allscripts have attested that the company has reached a new milestone— one billion application programming interface (API) data exchange transactions in 2017.

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.