In a recent article published by Healthcare IT News, Epic’s CEO Judy Faulkner addressed widespread criticisms surrounding Epic’s interoperability. Epic has come under scrutiny for not allowing data to be exchanged between healthcare providers that utilize other EHR systems. But, Faulkner maintains that healthcare data exchange is a tricky business no matter what system is being used.
"It's an interesting thing about interoperability – people think it just all of kind of magically comes together … You would think: Why couldn't I take the system that UCLA has and have that be the system that University of Chicago uses?”
Faulkner argues that Epic is a much more open system than many competitors, allowing exchange with 44 non-Epic EHRs.But even if full interoperability were to happen tomorrow, health systems are increasingly aware that EHRs were simply not designed to handle the key tasks of communicating with and engaging patients for event follow-ups, side effects management and other tasks essential to driving good outcomes in complex and chronic care. Just because EHRs are very powerful for providers doesn't make them the right tool for every patient-facing job. There are plenty other considerations for EHRs and specialty care coordination, too, including the idea that many specialists work outside the single facilities which EHRs are largely designed to support.