Epic is dangerous!

The leader in an industry where the U.S. government is spending $30 billion to try and make medical records more accessible, Epic has faced increasing criticism that its software is cumbersome to use and was designed not to work with other systems.

Posted in General Discussion, EBM, Medical Home, John's Blog
3 comments on “Epic is dangerous!
  1. Jack Seavy says:

    Epic is a completely closed system. My Primary Care Physician accepts Optima Insurance (Sentara Healthcare is 100% Epic) but has no access to my records and Epic. After a recent hospitalization I had complete access to my own records and test results but my PMD had no access. He is not employed by Sentara and hence cannot get access to Epic. He had no records from the numerous specialists who saw me in the hospital. How can this possibly lead to quality care of a patient? My PMD has to request faxes or letters from Sentara which his staff has to manually insert into his own EHR from a different company. Now if I return to a specialist in the Sentara system they have no access to my PMDs medical records. All my medications and further testing by my PMD in the EPIC system are completely out of date and inaccurate. Now someone in the specialists office has to enter records manually from my PMD into Epic. This is a horrible waste of time leading to many errors on “Both” sides of the Medical Records battle. The patient is caught in the middle. This is very inefficient and very dangerous. All EHR’s at the minimum need to communicate with each other seamlessly. Epic is a leader in keeping all other’s out of their system.

  2. John says:

    The real question is – given the meaningful use initiative, how could this happen.

  3. Jack Seavy says:

    It is a little unfair to pick on Epic on this issue, as all EMR systems are proprietary to some extent. Sentara/Optima wants primary care physicians and specialists to be employed or in their network. For instance, if I was a VA patient and found myself in Virginia Beach and was admitted to a Sentara hospital, none of my VA records would be available real time to my Sentara providers unless I as the patient hand delivered the records. It would be interesting to see if two competing Epic systems would seamlessly communicate with each other. My guess is they would not. If I was an Epic patient in Virginia Beach and wound up injured on the Blue Ridge highway and was admitted to Roanoke Memorial Hospital (another large Epic system) would Roanoke have access to my Epic records from Virginia Beach? I don’t know the answer to this but my guess is they would not be available to my Roanoke caregivers in real time.
    It is a perilous world out there for patients and at this point in time patients should carry their own paper records in the trunk of their cars to hand out in person when they wind up ill in a competing system.

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