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Epic Systems, Medicity Lead in Health Information Exchange

The two health IT companies have the brightest outlook for health information exchange in 2016.

By Kyle Murphy, PhD

- Healthcare organizations and providers using either Epic Systems or Medicity have confidence in these vendors to resolve interoperability challenges through their health information exchange services over the next few years, according to a recent KLAS report.

Epic Systems, Medicity lead the way in a KLAS report on health information exchange

In HIE 2016: Shifts in Vendor Performance and Provider Outlook, Epic Systems and Medicity led the way in provider outlook with more than 90 percent of respondents expecting strong performance in health information exchange and interoperability moving forward.

Rounding out the top-five health IT vendors with promising futures were RelayHealth, InterSystems, and ICA, with scores ranging between 80 and 85 percent.

The report attributes the perceived future success of Epic Systems and Medicity to two things.

"Technology prowess and reliable partnering," it states. "EMR-dependent Epic simplifies user access to data from both Epic and non-Epic EMRs. EMR-independent Medicity backs up a persuasive road map with follow-through."

Epic Systems is one of only two EMR-dependent HIE service providers making the grade. The other, eClinicalWorks, inspired nearly half as much confidence in HIE end-users in the neighborhood of 55 percent.

Health information exchange vendor performance and outlook

While the privately-held EHR company was far and away the leader in HIE performance in the report, InterSystems, ICA, Cerner HIE, and Medicity all put up high scores for performance in 2015.

Interfacing emerged as a primary barrier to health information exchange for many respondents to the survey, which was an area of service where Epic Systems excelled.

The EHR company took home the second-highest score for interface rating (8.0), trailing behind only InterSystems (8.8), but managed to come in well ahead of the EMR dependent eClinicalWorks (5.5). Another standout interface score for Epic Systems was its ability to delivery interfaces in less than three months (75%). What's more, the EHR company received praise for its speed and need for fewer interfaces.

The top performer in terms of interface rating, InterSystems, did not receive a score in this area as a result of insufficient data and the authors of the report note that the EMR-independent HIE provider relies on third-party service firms.

HIE vendors also receiving high marks for interface ratings were ICA (7.9), Medicity (7.4), RelayHealth (7.4), Allscripts (7.3), and Cerner HIE (7.2). However, few scored above 60 percent in terms of their ability to deliver interfaces in less than three months — Cerner HIE (67%), Medicity (64%), and RelayHealth (64%).

The KLAS report also contains a year-over-year evaluation of HIE vendor performance showing Medicity and NextGen Mirth to have made significant increases between 2014 and 2015.

"Medicity engineered a major turnaround, rare for any HIT vendor, and earned KLAS’ 'Most Improved Vendor' award for 2015. Customers credit the change to hard discussions and disciplined follow-through," it states.

Epic Systems, meanwhile, made nominal gains considering already high performance levels. HIE vendors trending south over that time were Allscripts, Orion Health, eClinicalWorks, and Cerner MobileMD, which according to the authors speaks to the volatility of the HIE space in healthcare.

"Despite a rousing start and years to mature, HIE has largely been a story of missed expectations," they maintain. "More than half of the vendors KLAS reported on in 2011 are no longer competing in the market, including several industry stalwarts. While at least one prominent vendor has pulled out of a tailspin, others are struggling in new ways."

Lastly, the report captures insight into the use cases and features benefitting end-users for top HIE vendors. Whereas Epic Systems has high penetration in clinical environments, it lags behind InterSystems and Medicity for connecting hospitals and other EHR systems. What's more, the latter two HIE vendors have a greater mix of private and public organizations leveraging their services. Epic Systems is the choice of strictly private institutions.

As for the most widely adopted HIE features, ad hoc searching, orders and results, transitions of care, and event notifications are in use by 60 to 80 percent of respondents.

Image Credits: KLAS

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