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Stories & Snapshots

Epic unUGM Provides a Forum to Connect about Interoperability

Attendees from non-Epic organizations spend a day at Epic talking interoperability

At unUGM 2019, executives and strategic leaders from provider organizations that don’t use Epic connected with Epic staff to learn about ways they and their patients can access health records. The conference, first held in 2018, was designed to provide actionable information on how to interoperate with Epic.

“unUGM fosters cooperation between those of us working on the interoperable exchange of medical records,” said Matt Doyle, a software developer at Epic. “It provided an opportunity for Epic developers to speak directly with attendees, which included people from post-acute care settings, emergency medical services, and from health systems using other EHRs.”

Sessions covered each of the four methods of patient record sharing: patient-directed, EHR-to-EHR, web portal, and shared records. Attendees saw a demonstration of Share Everywhere, a patient-directed form of interoperability which allows patients to temporarily share portions of their health summary – including medications, allergies, health issues, and immunizations – with any provider who has an internet connection. Presenters also spoke about record exchanges between healthcare organizations using the Carequality framework.

Jill Ender, a pharmacist from Winona Health, explained how her organization’s Cerner EHR connects with nearby health systems that use Epic, such as Gundersen Health System and Mayo Clinic. “Patients expect that health organizations are talking to each other and if they come to you, you have their information,” Ender said.

Of the four million records exchanged daily worldwide through Epic’s interoperability network, Care Everywhere, over 40% are exchanged with organizations using a system other than Epic. Doyle explained that he expects this proportion to continue to grow.

“We want to learn how to continue to help the healthcare industry get connected,” Doyle said. “There’s no magic to it. It’s just about creating transparency and sharing ideas.”