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Surescripts May Capture the Health Information Network (HIN) Business

Posted Nov 26 2012 12:00am

I suggested in a previous note that Epic aspired to become the de facto standard for EHR interoperability with its proprietary software (see:   Epic Deemed Unbeatable by HIStalk in the Large Hospital EMR Market ). Here's a quote from it:

[T]he federal government is trying mightily to encourage collaboration and interoperability in our healthcare system. Epic is seeking to establish its proprietary, walled-garden EMR software as the de facto standard for the exchange of clinical information (see:  More on Epic's (Non)-Interoperability and the Recent NYT Puff PieceJudith Faulkner, EMR Interoperability, and Washington IT PoliticsConnectivity and Hospital-Based EMRs; The EMR as an Operating System? ).

According to John, who blogs over at Chilmark Research , the prize for becoming the standard application for the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN) may now go to Surescripts (see: Will Surescripts Become De facto NwHIN? ). Here's a quote from his note:

.... 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.

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