Integrating Epic into your digital health application

Technology will never replace the importance of human touch when receiving medical attention, but it can help enhance it.

If systems aren’t connected and able to seamlessly exchange information with each other in a healthcare setting, it could have an adverse effect on clinical outcomes and patient safety.

It means that staff will end up wasting precious time chasing medical records that should, for the benefit of themselves and the patient, be available at the click of a button.

That’s why interoperability is now such a huge focus for healthcare providers. It allows vital patient medical data to be shared across different systems and locations to enhance the advance the effective delivery of treatment.

It leads to more informed decision making, less errors, enhanced patient care, reduced unnecessary hospital admissions, and a more efficient use of already stretched resources.

One way to achieve this seamless exchange of data, particularly if you have a healthcare application, is through integration with Epic.

Epic explained

So, what is Epic? And how can integrating your digital health application lead to better outcomes for patients? Allow us to explain…

Epic software is an electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical record (EMR) management application that allows healthcare providers to easily update, store and view patient medical records.

By integrating Epic into a digital health application, organisations are able to monitor patients and their course of treatment more effectively, improve how their staff operate, and manage other aspects of their business more efficiently.

But how exactly does it work?

Imagine this scenario: a patient is attending a scheduled health screening at their registered GP practice, but they have just moved to the area. In order to administer the best care possible and make an informed decision about treatment, their doctor needs access to their medical records in a format that their system can read.

Epic’s application programming interface (API) acts as the intermediary between the app and the EHR/EMR system, delivering the information the doctor has requested to their app.

In short, Epic simplifies the lives of doctors and patients by making this information readily available.

The benefits of integrating with Epic

As we’ve already discussed, integrating Epic into your digital health application can bring a multitude of benefits to your organisation, your staff and the patients you serve.

Below are three of the major benefits that you’ll notice from integrating with Epic:

Instant access to patient records 

When a patient is under your care, time is of the essence; every second counts and can have a profound impact on their treatment. Assessing symptoms and diagnosing illnesses is difficult enough as it is, clinicians shouldn’t have to struggle with accessing information too. The good news is, with Epic, they don’t have to. Whether they are making a house visit in a rural area or standing in front of a patient in A&E, Epic integration gives them real-time access to patient records without delay.

Increased efficiency 

One of the biggest challenges healthcare providers face is how to become more efficient without the standard of care they provide to patients dropping. Yes, it’s important to be efficient so there’s no delay in diagnosis or treatment, and so that as many patients can receive medical attention as possible, but efficiency also leads to better staff outcomes and improved job satisfaction. Epic enables the effective transfer of data and stores data securely, which means staff don’t have to undertake lengthy processes to access it.

Limitless integration possibilities 

One of the key benefits of integrating with Epic is how scalable the solution is. This means that the solution can be effortlessly scaled up to match your organisation’s growth and cope with increased demand without having to build a new development from scratch. Its robust nature means that it can be integrated with virtually any application, meaning that you can get the most out of the applications you’re already using and continue to expand your reach as an organisation.

Epic integration

Before you start thinking about integrating with Epic, you need to consider if your application is the best fit or not.

If you have designed a patient-facing app, or need to perform complex analysis, then integrating Epic may not be most beneficial.

However, if you’re looking for a cost-effective and scalable solution that doesn’t require pushing any kind of data to Epic, it’s an ideal solution. A good example of this would be remote patient treatment via telehealth, or assisting with patient management to track and monitor treatment progress.

Once you have decided that your application is compatible with this offering, 6B will check the servers where your application is stored and identify whether EHR/EMR is supported by these sites.

If it is, we can begin to develop, integrate and validate your application with Epic. We’ll work in collaboration with your team to ensure all sensitive patient data is encrypted, and all proposed integration solutions undergo rigorous testing, ensuring all endpoints function exactly how they’re supposed to.

As members of the Epic App Orchard ‘Terrace’ Developer Program, we have the practical experience and technical expertise to design and develop transparent, predictable and fast paths to commercialisation for your Epic integration. It’s a process we’re familiar with, having done the same for countless healthcare organisations across both the public and private sectors.

Is your organisation looking to integrate Epic with a digital health application?

At 6B, we’re experienced Epic integration partners and we know the transformative effect it can have on the staff you employ and the patients they care for. If you’re looking for a bespoke solution that is truly scalable, talk to one of our team today.

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