Epic Launches EHR Feature That Lets Patients Share Records

Ken Terry

September 19, 2017

Epic Systems, the developer of the electronic health record (EHR) most widely used by physicians, announced a new feature last Wednesday that will enable patients to let all of their providers view their medical records on the Epic patient portal. While this capability does not create interoperability between systems, it appears to be a step forward in increasing the portability of healthcare data.

By using the smartphone app that accompanies the new feature, called Share Everywhere, patients can grant a physician other than their personal doctor access to their records on the Web portal, whether that clinician uses Epic, another kind of EHR, or no EHR at all. The provider who is given that access can send a progress note back to the patient's healthcare organization on the portal.

To safeguard their privacy, patients must log into Epic's portal and generate a one-time access code that the patients would give to the doctor they wanted to share information with, according to a Healthcare IT News report. That clinician would go to the Share Everywhere website and use the code after verifying it against the patient's date of birth.

With Share Everywhere, "patients should be able to easily share their health information with anyone they choose, no matter where they are," said Janet Campbell, vice president of patient engagement, in a news release.

Share Everywhere will be available to Epic customers at no cost in the November update of Epic's MyChart patient portal, Healthcare IT News said.

A decade ago, Epic introduced Care Everywhere, a feature that allows the exchange of patient data, now in the form of CCDA care summaries, between Epic customers and between Epic users and providers that use other EHRs. This, too, is not interoperability, but it is widely used. According to Epic, two million patient records a day are being exchanged through Care Everywhere.

A May report by KLAS Research showed that Epic had 25.8% of the EHR market for acute care hospitals, slightly more than Cerner's share, according to MedCity News. Among physicians, however, Epic is far ahead of its rivals. A 2016 survey by Medscape found that Epic controlled 28% of that market, followed by Cerner at 10%, and eClinicalWorks at 7%.

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