One of the largest EMR vendors in the country is expanding its services. Epic Systems recently launched “One Virtual System Worldwide,” an initiative to help connect EMRs across institutions. The multifaceted platform helps customers go beyond simply viewing patient data at other institutions and allows them to take action. Customers can message outside care teams, book appointments across the country, and view merged patient data from multiple EMRs—even those from rival vendors.
Interoperability can improve patient outcomes, but also raises data potential data security concerns. Epic customers currently exchange over 2.3 million patient records daily. With their new initiative, data exchanges will rise across institutions with varying security protocols. It is important that as an industry we move forward with interoperability, but do so with security and privacy controls always in mind. Any sacrifices in data security or patient data privacy may erode patient trust in their providers, negatively affecting utilization of the healthcare system.