Epic says it designed its new Connection Hub as a place for vendors to share their ability to exchange data with electronic health records for Epic customers and others.
WHY IT MATTERS
Any vendor with a connection to Epic can list their app and self-report if they have achieved successful data exchange with the EHR software.
Vendors who would like to be listed can participate by providing their information and completing an optional questionnaire.
Site visitors can see the vendor-supplied information, including app descriptions and links to websites.
Epic will also launch a new Vendor Services area, which will provide access to newsletters, detailed tutorials, expanded testing sandboxes and technical support.
The company will automatically transition vendors currently in the App Market, which the company says in the announcement on its website will relaunch later in 2023, to Vendor Services.
“No connections will be impacted and vendors receiving services, APIs and testing tools in App Market will continue to do so via Vendor Services,” the company said.
“For those vendors currently listed with a live connection in the App Market, Epic will provide a simple way for them to transfer their existing information to Connection Hub.”
THE LARGER TREND
Epic maintains a portfolio of 450 FHIR APIs across 55 Resources including the latest R4 version, according to the announcement.
The big EHR vendors have long had third-party developer programs with varying degrees of participation and success. Before FHIR 4, developers had to choose which EHR to commit to before signing on new provider customers and changes were not backward compatible.
However, an Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT study released earlier this year found a fragmented EHR market with “substantial variation” in data exchange capabilities based on practice size.
While 65% of physicians int he study were able to electronically send, receive or query for information from outside sources, just 29% were able to integrate information into their EHR.
“Public and private initiatives that increase the benefits and reduce the costs of facilitating interoperable exchange may … encourage small practices to pursue interoperable exchange while making it easier for small developers to advance their support,” wrote the researchers.
ON THE RECORD
“Epic has a long history of exchanging data with applications,” Sumit Rana, Epic’s senior vice president of research and development, said in the statement.
“And Connection Hub expedites vendors’ ability to show Epic customers that their apps can exchange data with Epic.”
Andrea Fox is senior editor of Healthcare IT News.
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS publication.
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