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The Kaisingers link up

A while ago at an IOM meeting I mis-spoke and called Geisinger, “Kaisinger” and it kinda sounded right. Well now those two Epic users with another similar Epic user (Group Health) have teamed up with Mayo (home grown IT) and InterMountain (3M + homegrown + GE) to share patient data.  Now it hasn’t happened yet — this is the announcement of what is to come (although KP is inter-operating with the VA in San Diego). But they’re going to use NHIN standards. My understanding is that they’re going to start with moving data using CCD (a subset of the records) and then move to access full patient data via common medical identifiers. Of course while this is great news, the chances of a typical California Kaiser patient showing up in rural Pennsylvania isn’t that high. But if they can do it across the country, why can’t they and others do it across the street? In other words resolve what Jonathan Bush calls the Paper Aeroplane method of interoperability. After all that type of random showing up–even for Kaiser patients in a Sutter run ER–is a big deal. Let’s hope this announcement is a big spur, and allows others to join.

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Matthew HoltJanice Reverson, RNMargalit Gur-ArieBill Crounse, MD Recent comment authors
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Janice Reverson, RN
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Janice Reverson, RN

IM Board Question:

Select the one that does not belong.

Which hospital system is most different from the other three?
A. Mayo
B. Intermountain
C. Kaiser
D. Geisinger

Correct Answer: C

Bill Crounse, MD
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Yes, promising initiative, but as you say not all that helpful to individual patients unless they happen to receive care across several of those facilities (unlikely). The greater value may be in the experiment itself, and possibly the population health analytics that can be done with all that shared clinical data. Besides, I should hope that information could be shared between one Epic customer and another. I mean, how hard should that be? But is this the pathway to a national or international HIE? Don’t think so. See http://bit.ly/fgpdCZ

Margalit Gur-Arie
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“I should hope that information could be shared between one Epic customer and another. I mean, how hard should that be?”

I think the tiny devilish detail resides in this sentence:
“move to access full patient data via common medical identifiers”

If we allowed the creation of those “common medical identifiers”, which are not at all common in disparate Epic systems or across other EHRs, this Kaisinger experiment could be the beginnings on a national HIE.