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Epic Systems Launches COVID-19 Screening App in Partnership With OCHIN

Epic Systems, one of the largest providers of health information technology used primarily by large US hospitals and health systems, launched a COVID-19 triage app that will assist healthcare professionals who do not have immediate access to an electronic health record (EHR) platform. Epic Systems launched the app in partnership with nonprofit health IT services provider OCHIN.

Patients are often tested for COVID-19 on sidewalks, in makeshift hospitals, in testing facilities, and in parking lots – places that are not wired for accessing electronic health records. Epic’s triage app will assist healthcare professionals who do not have access to their EHR systems in a mobile platform or are using manual triage processes.

The new app, which will launch in Washington State and will be rolled out to other regions in the coming weeks, has three main functions:

  • Enable patients to self-screen and healthcare volunteers to triage using their smartphones.
  • Assist healthcare officials in tracking the spread of the pandemic by collecting patient demographic information in the app.
  • Grow Epic’s MyChart userbase by demonstrating how the platform will make coordinating follow-up care easier.

OCHIN is a nonprofit organization focused on ensuring low-income patients have access to state-of-the-art healthcare solutions. OCHIN regularly partners with Epic Systems for its targeted initiatives. In this instance, both organizations collaborated to rapidly build the COVID-19 testing app.

Source: Product Scorecard at SoftwareReviews, April 2020.

Our Take

Historically, it has been common for EHR vendors to partner with nonprofit organizations. As the novel COVID-19 virus continues to spread, EHR providers have the opportunity to target smaller, grassroots organizations to support containment at a local level.

Organizations typically think of EHR as a tool exclusively aimed at large healthcare networks. However, 93% of small rural hospitals with less than 25 beds report that they are also leveraging EHR technology. The COVID-19 testing app is a strong indication that major players like Epic are going to expand their offerings to continue to meet the needs of smaller institutions.

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