.... Surescripts ...may...become the [de facto] Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN). It all started when Surescripts acquired collaborative HIE messaging vendor Kryptiq in late August. This was quickly followed a week later with Surescripts’ announcement that it would become Epic’s vendor of choice for cross-EHR connectivity. It appears that Epic has finally succumbed to the inevitable; that it will need to open up its system (Epic’s purported Epic Elsewhere , to address cross EHR connectivity was in reality Epic Nowhere – just vaporware) to communicate in a heterogeneous EHR environment. The Surescripts Clinical Interoperability (CI) network solution will become an “Epic Unit” and on Epic’s price sheet. The details of this story were covered in our September Monthly Update for CAS subscribers. What drove Epic to make such a drastic move? Pretty simple really, Stage Two meaningful use requirements which were released on August 23rd. Within those new requirements for certification, EHR vendors must demonstrate that they can send a message across EHR boundaries (outside their ecosystem). Epic really had no choice in the matter – they had to do something to address this requirement. Chilmark has also been hearing an ever louder drumbeat that Epic customers were also demanding that Epic do something to address messaging in a heterogeneous EHR environment.
It looks like Stage Two MU giveth and also taketh away (see: Publishing Test Results in Patient Portals: Holding a Tiger by the Tail ). However, I am pretty sure that this is not the end of the EHR interoperability battle. There is too much at stake and we are surely comparing battles versus the war. Epic may spring back given its dominant position in the EHR market.