What Epic & Cerner are doing for interoperability: 11 observations

What Epic & Cerner are doing for interoperability: 11 observations

In November 2015, leaders from Cerner and Epic were in the same room during the Disruptive Healthcare Conference produced by WTN Media.  Cerner and Epic have both declared themselves for the interoperability cause, but competition between the two companies is no secret. They continually vie for the biggest piece of the health IT market and mindshare, leading many in the industry to wonder if the two vendors can truly set aside rivalry to work together for a common good.

Interoperability is one of the biggest healthcare issues to solve. Vendors and providers are tasked with using technology to freely, but securely, exchange information to create a continuum of care with greater value and less cost for the patient. That is no mean feat, considering the myriad moving parts and largely siloed nature of healthcare. Here are 11 points on how two of health IT’s biggest vendors, Epic and Cerner, are throwing their hats into the interoperability ring and what the industry thinks of those efforts.


1. Epic’s Care Everywhere is designed to provide a framework for interoperability. The platform allows information flow from Epic EHRs and non-Epic EHR across state and national borders, according to the company’s website. Click hereto view a full list the organizations in the Care Everywhere network.

2. Care Everywhere participants exchange information with 26 EHRs from other vendors, 21 health information exchanges, 29 health information service providers and 28 eHealth Exchange members, as of July 2014, according to a HealthIT.gov Epic Interoperability Fact Sheet. More than 20 billion data transactions happen between Epic and more than 600 other vendors through more than 12,000 interfaces each year, according to the fact sheet.

3. In 2015, KLAS ranked Epic No. 1 for interoperability on a list of 10 EHR vendors. Epic earned a score of 3.8. The KLAS report pointed to Epic’s savvy and respected interoperability team as a strength, but noted the company is perceived as inflexible and closed off.

4. Peter DeVault, director of interoperability at Epic, sits on the KLAS & Interoperability Measurement advisory board.

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