Lehigh Valley Health Network exchanged nearly 5.5 million patient records in 2018 and over 9 million since they went live on Epic’s Care Everywhere in 2015. By exchanging these patient charts, clinicians gain access to important pieces of a patient’s story that they might otherwise miss, such as medications and allergies.
“One of my frustrations is that in Washington and the media, I still read how healthcare doesn’t share data,” said LVHN’s Senior Vice President and CIO Michael Minear, responding to the misconception that EHRs can’t interoperate. “We actually do share a lot of data… We turned on anything we can [in Epic] to share data.”
LVHN is just one example of an Epic community member excelling in interoperability. Epic organizations exchanged more than 1 billion records in 2018. Over 40% of those exchanges included a non-Epic organization.
For healthcare organizations working to improve interoperability, Minear has a few pieces of advice. First, healthcare leaders need to make interoperability a priority for their organizations and lay out a plan. A clear organization goal helps ensure that stakeholders are committed to adopting, implementing, and making the most of data exchange solutions like Care Everywhere.
His next piece of advice? Partner with your EHR vendor. “We’re lucky in that we have Epic,” Minear said. “They’ve been focused on this for some time. We didn’t have to write an interface to accommodate Sequoia or Carequality. Epic did that for us.”
Read more in EHR Intelligence.