Over the last few years, the healthcare industry has made a significant leap forward. A digitized medical environment is what’s spearheading the transformation. In particular, healthcare digitization redefines the way we engage with healthcare facilities, share medical data, or make decisions related to treatment. 

A growing number of tools drive the digitization of healthcare today. These include AI-based medical devices, telemedicine, blockchain, electronic health records, and others.

Today, we’ll focus on the effective use of electronic health records to improve the quality of treatment and patient care. 

Why Epic Integration Is Essential To Digital Healthcare?

Epic Systems is one of the largest tech suppliers for the healthcare industry. It is widely popular among established U.S. hospitals and health systems to handle electronic medical records. 

Thus, more than 250 healthcare organizations across the US choose Epic as their primary electronic medical record system. So far, Epic has been used by 45 percent of the US population to store their medical records.

From a technical standpoint, the Epic system is a cloud-based solution for better management of electronic health or medical records. It caters to a wide range of specialties and practices. Based on the specialty, Epic API integration entails additional modules that go with core EHR features such as a patient portal or e-messaging. Telehealth options are also made easier within Epic integrated software.  

What Are The Main Benefits Of Epic Integration?

Epic software established quite a niche in the global market of EHR solutions. Due to the plethora of features and user-friendliness, it’s the preferred method of record handling for a growing number of medical providers.

Once you fully optimize your system after implementation, you can reap the following benefits:

Multi-faceted functionality 

Unlike other available EHR systems, Epic software caters to the needs of multiple organizations, thus providing tailored features to each of them. Among its main users are community hospitals, independent practices, dental clinics, mental health, payers, delivery networks as well as rehab centers, skilled nursing, and other providers. 

Moreover, Epic-infused systems render a set of features for many stages of clinical pathways. From patient visits and paper workflows to telehealth and surgical services, this type of software covers virtually every aspect of modern healthcare.  

Easier access for patients

Epic-integrated software also makes patient journeys more user-friendly. By using the MyChart tool, patients can look into their family health and personal information as well as schedule doctor appointments and get online advice via telehealth. Those who have been admitted to hospitals can also use Epic EHR systems to connect with the medical team caring for them. 

Streamlined clinical pathways

Epic integration allows for a single source of truth by uniting internal systems and coordinating third-party providers. Thus, your medical staff can easily share medical records, lab results, request referrals, and other core medical information. Data-related tasks are streamlined, meaning that dataflows no longer hamper effective patient treatment and on-site communication. 

Amplified business intelligence

Epic is one of the first EHRs to offer built-in AI and Analytics. By implementing intelligent capabilities, Epic software promotes better services and more accurate forecasts for healthcare professionals. The latter can also augment decision-making at the point of care or improve their medical, billing, quality, and process benchmarks.

Compliance

Moreover, Epic has a Secure Chat feature that enables sharing of HIPAA-protected messages. Therefore, employees can send secure messages with the patient’s name and record attached to their colleagues. 

What Database Does Epic Use?

Epic systems don’t stay alone. Most Epic EHR software sits on a technology called Caché by InterSystems. Essentially, it is a database by InterSystems that was created with Epic tools in mind. Therefore, it allows for increased business agility, reliability, and boosted speed.

Each patient’s chart could have tens of thousands of data points. Caché handles these large but scattered data points more quickly and reliably than other databases. From a technical standpoint, Caché is a NoSQL database.

Cache database yields distinctive benefits for healthcare providers once implemented correctly. These include:

  • Cross-Platform functionality – it works across different platforms, including OpenVMS, Windows, OS X, and Linux.
  • Supreme security – the database contains security auditing features, complete encryption, and smart authentication/authorization tools to keep hackers at bay.  
  • Analytics capabilities – analytics tools of the database allow to have a comprehensive look at the main KPIs and amplify business intelligence.
  • Native applications – MyChart and Haiku for iPhone and Android, or Limerick for the Apple Watch, leverage iOS and Android native programming environments.
  • Epic Cache supports distributed systems over multiple networked servers. This improves company agility by drastically increasing performance and scalability.

Integrating With Epic: Step-by-step Guide

Although Epic EHR/EMR integration is slightly different for various providers, there are always 5 essential steps. 

Check Epic compatibility

You start by checking the compatibility of your data storage with EHR/EMR systems. To do that, you need to revisit your app server and the resources for data collection. You can check the compatibility by having the site audit by your account/ integration manager.

Create an account on Uscdi.epic.com

Next, you need to access the Epic API key. To do that, you should register on the FHIR platform which is an official website for developers who build healthcare software. Your account at uscdi.epic.com can be used to get the EPIC EHR API as well.

Review your data availability

Your healthcare software should contain the necessary endpoints for the API. Otherwise, there’s no point in integrating it. Therefore, make sure your system contains a comprehensive amount of data necessary for a successful connection.

Get the API and perform testing

The API will connect your existing applications so they can effectively share medical data. But before using this software intermediary, get sample data to test the API.

Integrate the API into your application 

Finally, embed API calls into your application code using endpoints. Once your application is registered with Epic, the integration is considered complete. 

When Epic Integration Is a Must

The connection with Epic reduces the amount of time spent on account management, administrative tasks, and medical records. But Epic integration does not bode well for all types of software. 

Sometimes, your application doesn’t need it, including the following cases: 

  • Your software caters to patients;
  • Your data needs constant updates within the app and EHR system;
  • Your database contains huge amounts of data.

The Final Word

The digitization of the healthcare industry has introduced much-awaited shifts. But along with the favorable changes, medical facilities have to adopt new tech-savvy ways to grasp the floating data. Epic EHR/EMR integration is one of the easiest ways to unify paper and electronic documentation as well as reap other cost-effective benefits.