Epic Garden Plot may be the answer for independent physician groups grappling with how to adapt to the increasing demands for sharing health data with other providers and patients. The Software as a Service (SaaS) offering from the industry giant provides streamlined access to Epic software for primary and specialty care groups with more than 40 providers at a fraction of the cost of implementing the software on their own. This could be a lifeline for the 46.7 percent of the nation’s private practices that are still independently owned. The high cost for physician offices to upgrade or replace their current EMR to meet the new interoperability standards of the 21st Century Cures Act has left some offices in a bind about what to do next. With over 600 EMR systems on the global market and 90 percent adoption of EMR systems by medical facilities in the United States, the ability to share EMR patient data between hospitals and physician offices that use other EMR platforms continues to be a major challenge. Bridging the digital divide to help health data flow Healthcare experts at the HIMS23 global conference reported that there is a “digital divide” within the industry as some providers are not able to fully participate and deliver to the current interoperability standards. Further concerns include that data transfers with incompatible systems can result in incomplete or corrupt data, both of which are a health risk. The evolving record sharing standards released in 2023 requires that patients now can see task and clinical notes and that electronic record systems are able to safely exchange personal health information (PHI) with third-party applications such as Apple Health, patient-facing systems, and enterprise systems. What should be included in a data set also is expanding and is defined by the United States Core Data for Interoperability (USCDI). Future standards are expected to continue to push for more connectivity. Epic’s effort to connect every part of the healthcare ecosystem The Garden Plot is in addition to Epic’s Community Connect offering which extends the EHR to smaller medical facilities that connect through a nearby larger health system. Both Garden Plot and Community Connect aim to increase interoperability and offer lower overhead costs to the smaller organizations that may not otherwise be able to manage the full cost of implementation. Legacy data planning with Garden Plot implementation When physician offices decide to move forward with Epic Garden Plot as their go-forward EHR, there is an opportunity to decommission current servers and archive legacy data into an active archive that integrates with Epic. With HealthData ArchiverTM, historical records remain easily accessible through Single Sign-on from within the Epic log in. There are numerous cost savings and security benefits for Epic Garden Plot users who consolidate costly and sometimes vulnerable legacy systems into an archive and then decommission unneeded servers and end maintenance contracts. An active archive is a forward-thinking solution for legacy data management. HealthData Archiver™ is a cloud-based legacy data management solution. It is available on Epic Connection Hub and is live and in use at many Epic customer sites. There are many benefits of including HealthData Archiver as part of your forward-thinking data management strategy. A few include: Care coordination Release of information Cures Act interoperability Accounts Receivable wind down Search/Sort/Filter Reporting and analytics Health delivery organizations of all sizes that transition to Epic need a trusted companion archive solution to secure legacy data, so it remains accessible, interoperable, and available for analytics. Is your physician office researching your options with Epic Garden Plot? Our team has helped many teams successfully work through this process. We are ready to walk (or run) with you. Let’s connect.