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Unlocking Seamless Healthcare: Harnessing the Power of Epic FHIR Integration

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Epic’s market share in 2021 of 32.9% was the biggest among competing EHR vendors. Also, KLAS Awards just named Epic the top EHR vendor for a 13th year. None of this is surprising when you consider  the tremendous impact Epic Systems has had on interoperability in healthcare technologies.

In fact, Epic FHIR development has more than navigated the landscape of healthcare interoperability over the years, creating novel approaches to common  challenges. A great deal of this progress is due to adopting Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources(FHIR) API standards and prioritizing expanded patient access to medical records. 

The benefits of Epic integration
Figure 1. The benefits of Epic integration

So, what is the strategy behind Epic on FHIR interoperability? And what Epic FHIR resources exist to provide  better insight into its functionality? Keep reading to find out.

“When it comes to Epic Systems integration and interoperability, our company stands out as a trusted partner. We are committed to delivering innovative solutions that drive the digital transformation of healthcare organizations. Experience the transformative power of seamless Epic FHIR API integration with the SPSoft team by your side.”

Mike Lazor

“At SPSoft, we understand the complexity of the healthcare landscape and the critical importance of Epic interoperability in enhancing patient care and streamlining operations. Our tailored approach to each client’s unique needs ensures that we design and implement robust integration solutions that align perfectly with their requirements. With a deep understanding of Epic Systems and a commitment to quality, we deliver reliable, scalable, and future-proof integration systems.”

Romaniya Mykyta
Head of Product Management, SPSoft

Benefits of FHIR Epic Integration

Integration with Epic Systems, the leading EHR powerhouse, offers numerous benefits for healthcare organizations. Below are the benefits you can expect to seize for your business.

1. Streamlined Workflows

Epic integration enables seamless data exchange and interoperability between various systems and external organizations, eliminating manual processes and improving workflow efficiency. It also allows healthcare providers to access and update patient records in real time, leading to better care coordination and enhanced decision-making.

2. Enhanced Patient Care

By integrating Epic with other healthcare systems, organizations can consolidate patient data from various sources into a comprehensive record. That provides a holistic  view of the patient’s medical history, facilitating continuity of care and improved patient outcomes.

3. Interoperability with Third-Party Systems

Epic integration allows seamless connectivity with third-party applications, systems, and devices, enabling the exchange of data and fostering collaboration across the healthcare ecosystem. This interoperability promotes innovation, facilitates care coordination, and supports population health management initiatives.

4. Regulatory Compliance

Epic is designed to comply with industry regulations and standards, such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Integrating with Epic ensures organizations comply with data privacy and security requirements, safeguard patient information, and maintain regulatory adherence.

5. Scalability and Future-Proofing

Epic’s robust architecture and scalability enable organizations to handle growing data volumes and accommodate evolving healthcare needs. Integrating with Epic provides a foundation for future growth and allows organizations to adapt to technological advancements and emerging industry standards.

6. Enhanced Analytics and Reporting

Epic integration facilitates access to comprehensive and accurate data, which can be leveraged for advanced analytics and reporting. Organizations can derive meaningful insights, identify trends, monitor performance metrics, and make data-driven decisions to drive operational and clinical improvements.

Do not miss out on the opportunity to optimize your healthcare system with Epic interoperability. Get in touch with us and schedule a consultation!

Strategy for Epic FHIR Interoperability and APIs

The strategy for Epic on FHIR can be better understood through three aspects: the all-around approach to interoperability, Epic SMART on FHIR, and available Epic FHIR patient resources on the topic.

Epic’s All-Around Approach to Interoperability

Epic Systems offers several approaches to achieving interoperability with its integrated EHR system. Below are the key aspects and developments that makeup Epic’s interoperability approach.

  • Care Everywhere. Care Everywhere is Epic’s native interoperability solution, designed to facilitate the exchange of patient health information between healthcare organizations. Epic EHR users can access and view data from external organizations.

Because Care Everywhere uses industry-standard protocols and data exchange formats, it enables seamless information sharing across disparate systems.

  • Epic’s Interoperability APIs. Epic provides a set of APIs that allow external systems to integrate with its EHR and exchange data. These APIs include:
    • Epic Web APIs — a comprehensive set of RESTful Web APIs that enable developers to access and manipulate data within the Epic EHR. This includes patient demographics, clinical data, orders, scheduling, and others.
    • FHIR APIs — FHIR Epic API allows external systems to interact with Epic’s EHR using Epic FHIR resources and data models so that developers can leverage FHIR APIs to retrieve patient data, exchange clinical information, and synchronize data between systems.

Want to learn more about the potential of FHIR API in healthcare? Discover the transformative capabilities of FHIR API and how it enables seamless data exchange and interoperability across healthcare systems in this article.

  • SMART on FHIR — the SMART on FHIR framework allows third-party applications to integrate with the Epic EHR system and provides a standardized way for developers to build Epic FHIR apps within the ecosystem, accessing patient data and leveraging EHR functionalities.
  • Health Information Exchange (HIE) Integration. HIEs are intermediaries for exchanging patient health information between healthcare organizations and EHR systems. Epic can connect to HIEs to facilitate the bidirectional data flow, enabling comprehensive care coordination and access to patient information across multiple entities.
Organizations using APIs
Figure 2. Organizations using APIs
  • Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (CCDA) Support. Epic allows the import and export of CCDA files, which are XML-based documents that contain patient health information. CCDA support enables data exchange with systems that use this format, allowing the transfer of relevant clinical information.
  • Interoperability Standards and Compliance. Epic adheres to HL7 (Health Level 7), DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine), and FHIR to ensure interoperability within apps and systems. Epic is also involved in initiatives like CommonWell Health Alliance and Carequality that promote nationwide health data exchange.
  • Interoperability Hub. Epic offers an Interoperability Hub, or Epic Bridges, as a central point for managing data integration and interoperability workflows. It provides tools and functionalities to map, transform, and route data between Epic and external systems, streamlining data exchange processes.

Understanding these options for Epic interoperability, FHIR APIs, and integration technologies, your healthcare organization can make informed decisions that align with its goals.

About Epic SMART on FHIR

Epic’s SMART on FHIR is a framework that combines the SMART (Substitutable Medical Apps, Reusable Technologies) platform with the FHIR standard. SMART on FHIR Epic allows third-party apps to integrate with Epic’s EHR system and provides a standardized way for developers to create Epic FHIR apps that work seamlessly within the Epic ecosystem. 

For a deeper insight into SMART on FHIR, dive into our comprehensive article on how this powerful framework empowers developers to create innovative applications that seamlessly integrate with Epic’s EHR system.

Here’s an overview of the key components of Epic SMART on FHIR:

1. Open Platform

SMART is an open, standards-based framework that enables the Epic FHIR development of modular healthcare applications running on different EHR systems. The SMART platform provides app authorization, authentication, and user context management capabilities.

2. FHIR Standard

As discussed, FHIR is a standard for exchanging healthcare information electronically. It uses modern web techs to enable interoperability between healthcare systems, including those built using SMART.

How FHIR works
Figure 3. How FHIR works

3. Integration with Epic EHR

Epic has implemented the SMART on FHIR framework within its EHR system, allowing external applications to interact with Epic’s data and workflows. Hence, developers can build Epic FHIR apps that seamlessly access patient data, display it within the EHR user interface, and perform actions based on user interactions.

4. App Authorization and Launch

SMART on FHIR enables app authorization and launch within the Epic EHR environment. When a user selects a SMART on FHIR app, the EHR launches the app and provides access to the patient’s data through FHIR APIs, performing queries, displaying data, and even writing back data to the EHR system.

5. App Gallery and App Orchard

The App Gallery is a marketplace where healthcare organizations can discover and deploy third-party apps that integrate with Epic FHIR apps. In turn, the App Orchard provides Epic FHIR resources, documentation, and a testing sandbox for developers to build and validate their SMART on Epic FHIR apps.

So with SMART on FHIR framework, developers can create innovative applications that enhance the functionality of Epic’s EHR system, extend clinical workflows, and provide value-added services to healthcare providers and patients.

Resources for FHIR Interoperability

Epic Systems Corporation provides a range of APIs, SMART, and Epic FHIR resources to support integration and data exchange within its EHR system. Here is some crucial Epic on FHIR patient resources for providers and developers:

  • FHIR Epic APIs — a set of FHIR-based APIs that enable developers to interact with the Epic EHR system and exchange healthcare data. 
  • FHIR Implementation Guide — provides specific guidance and best practices for integrating with Epic using FHIR, including outline data models, resource structures, and workflows specific to Epic’s EHR system.
  • Epic UserWeb — an online portal for customers and users that provides access to a wide range of Epic FHIR patient resources, including documentation, guides, FAQs, and training materials related to Epic’s interoperability solutions.
  • App Orchard — provides Epic FHIR resources, documentation, a testing environment for developers, and a marketplace for healthcare organizations to discover and deploy FHIR-compatible applications.
  • SMART on FHIR — the website provides comprehensive documentation on the SMART on FHIR specification, including an introduction, technical details, implementation guides, and reference materials.
  • SMART App Gallery — provides a collection of publicly available applications that leverage the SMART on FHIR standard to give insights into existing applications and their functionalities, which can be helpful for inspiration and understanding potential use cases.
  • SMART on FHIR Sandbox — a testing platform where you can explore various features of the SMART on FHIR standard, develop and test your applications, and interact with sample patient data.
  • HL7 FHIR Documentation — provides deeper insights into the underlying FHIR specifications and concepts through extensive Epic FHIR patient resources, including implementation guides, specifications, and reference materials for FHIR.
  • Epic Interoperability Community — an active online community that provides discussion forums, user groups, and resources where users can seek advice, share best practices, and learn from others’ experiences.

Looking for a comprehensive guide on Epic FHIR resources? Explore our article that provides an in-depth overview of the various resources available, including those listed above.

These primary Epic on FHIR interoperability resources enable healthcare organizations, developers, and vendors to leverage the FHIR standard and integrate their systems with the Epic EHR. This facilitates healthcare data exchange and interoperability across different healthcare systems and applications.

Successful Epic FHIR Integration

To establish confident interoperability and ensure successful integration with Epic’s EHR system using FHIR API technology, consider taking into account the following aspects.

Step 1. Explore your interoperability options

Familiarize yourself with the various options available for Epic interoperability, FHIR APIs, and integration techs. And while the corporation provides a lot of technical Epic FHIR patient resources, it is recommended to seek guidance from external healthcare technology experts who can offer a broader perspective on interoperability strategies based on their experience.

Step 2. Define your objectives

Determine what you’d like to achieve through integration, whether it involves connecting to a specific Epic API endpoint to access patient health records from a particular health system or physician group or implementing a more comprehensive interoperability strategy involving multiple integration points with Epic. 

Epic Integration Process
Figure 4. Epic Integration Process

Step 3. Develop a blueprint for data sharing

Develop a comprehensive blueprint that outlines your organization’s and your partners’ systems, which require integration with Epic’s EHR system to improve patient access and care. For this, write down the critical functionalities, data models, compatibility requirements, and integration endpoints to be considered within your data integration framework.

Step 4. Prioritize health data security

It is important now more than ever to place a strong emphasis on health data security throughout your Epic integration plans. Establish clear data privacy and protection boundaries as you open access to Epic and other health systems containing sensitive information. Furthermore, ensure that appropriate security measures are in place to safeguard patient data.

Naturally, these recommendations may require additional time and effort from your teams, especially if they lack expertise with Epic Systems. For this and so many other reasons,  you may want to consider partnering with SPSoft, an experienced Epic on FHIR advisor.

Partner With an FHIR API Advisor to Ensure Epic Systems Interoperability 

To achieve successful integration with Epic on FHIR API endpoints, it is crucial to have a team of experts with software development skills, healthcare knowledge, and integration experience. SPSoft has the needed expertise and will accompany you through each stage of the integration process.

  • Our team will thoroughly assess your specific data exchange challenges and identify opportunities for improvement within the Epic environment.
  • We will help you gain a deep understanding of Epic’s tools and technologies, including their benefits and limitations, enabling you to make informed decisions regarding integration strategies.
  • Whether you want to connect to a single FHIR Epic API or integrate with multiple healthcare data systems, we will work with you to define a strategic roadmap that aligns with your interoperability objectives.
Epic interoperability
Figure 5. Epic interoperability
  • We will help you establish a secure plan for Epic integration and FHIR APIs, ensuring data harmonization while maintaining robust security measures.
  • Our team of expert developers, quality assurance professionals, and documentation specialists will execute the highest quality Epic integration technology within a reliable and efficient timeframe.

Demanding this level of knowledgeable guidance and healthcare technology mastery from any partner is crucial to ensure successful Epic integration and FHIR API implementation that surpasses your expectations. Fortunately, you can count on SPSoft to deliver time and time again. 

Go Beyond Epic Integration to Upgrade Your System

When partnering with SPSoft, you can access our expertise and Epic integration experience. Thus, you can receive significant advantages, like:

  • Cost savings. With SPSoft handling a great portion of FHIR APIs and interface building, your Epic FHIR development team can dedicate their time and resources to other projects, maximizing the returns on your technology investments.
  • Enhanced Epic FHIR development. Leveraging standard tools, protocols, testing, and development practices ensures that your FHIR APIs are effective, reliable, secure, and consistent.
  • Simple interface development. Kickstart your interface development with prebuilt connectors like FHIR, HL7, and EDI, which makes it faster and easier to create interfaces with efficiency at the forefront.
  • SMART on FHIR readiness. SPSoft allows  your developers to create applications that connect to open EHR FHIR APIs, which allows patients to access their health records and healthcare professionals to provide  real-time care guidance.
Partnering with SPSoft enhances access to patient health data
  • Faster integration with mergers, acquisitions, and vendor partners. SPSoft acts as an integration accelerator so that you can quickly achieve interoperability between systems and allow for seamless collaboration with merger and acquisition partners. 

As you can see, leveraging the capabilities of SPSoft helps you streamline Epic FHIR development, reduce costs, improve the quality of your FHIR APIs, expedite integration efforts, and embrace emerging standards like SMART on FHIR. This ultimately enhances healthcare interoperability within your system.

What Next?

Epic Systems has made notable strides in embracing FHIR APIs, SMART on FHIR, patient access, and interoperability strategies to bring healthcare services to the next level. With Epic’s comprehensive approach to interoperability, you streamline patient data workflows within and outside your organization.

Ready to take the next step towards seamless interoperability and unlock the full potential of your healthcare system? Contact us today and let SPSoft experts guide you on your journey.


Does Epic have an API?

Yes, Epic Systems Corporation provides an API called the Epic API. It allows developers to interact with the Epic EHR system and integrate external applications, systems, and services. The Epic API enables authorized access to patient data, supports the exchange of information, and facilitates interoperability between Epic and other healthcare systems.

What is the relationship between Epic and FHIR?

Epic has implemented FHIR APIs within its EHR system, allowing  seamless integration and data exchange with external systems and applications. Epic enhances interoperability, promotes data sharing, and enables healthcare organizations adopting FHIR to connect and exchange information more easily.

How do you integrate with Epic Systems?

Integrating with Epic Systems involves following specific processes and guidelines set by Epic to ensure seamless connectivity and data exchange between external systems and the Epic EHR system. First, you must obtain Epic Integration Certification, then delve into Epic’s integration options, like APIs and web services. From there, you develop an integration plan and act upon it. But we recommend partnering with an expert team to get the most out of your Epic integration.

What is the Epic Sandbox?

The Epic Sandbox, also known as the Epic Playground or Epic Test Environment, is a dedicated testing and development environment provided by Epic Systems. It offers a controlled and isolated environment that mimics the functionality and workflows of the live Epic EHR system. Thus, the Epic Sandbox allows developers to simulate real-world scenarios, test their applications or integrations, and ensure compatibility with Epic. 

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