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Epic's response to critical Mother Jones article

Mother Jones recently published a highly critical article on Epic Systems, claiming that the EHR vendor’s product lacked interoperability and therefore was hurting patients.

Well, Epic has responded.

In a letter to the editors of Mother Jones, Peter DeVault, Epic’s vice president of interoperability, defended the company. The letter was published online in the comments section of the original article, joining more than 300 other comments.

First, he wanted to make it clear that Epic customers own their own data, “and there are several easy-to-use tools to access and share it at the customer’s discretion,” DeVault wrote. He went on to say that customers can connect to and share patient records with thousands of organizations that may be using other vendors’ products. This includes, he asserted, the U.S. Department of Defense and the Veterans Health Administration.

DeVault also cites the Sequoia Project’s eHealth Exchange: “According to the eHealth Exchange, Epic shares more records with these government agencies than any other vendor,” he wrote. He added that Epic remains a leader in the improvement of interoperability standards.

Second, DeVault addressed the RAND report noted in the article and that the Mother Jones piece concluded was critical of Epic’s interoperability record.

“[Mother Jones] failed to mention that the report relied on uncited assertions, anonymous blog posts and an article from the 1990s,” DeVault wrote.

And finally, DeVault ends his letter by saying, “The world of EHR is developing rapidly, and there’s much good that remains to be done. Articles like this do nothing to illuminate the problems or the solutions ahead.”