Back in 2010, part of implementing a CPOE (computerized provider order entry) project included the ability to share or pull records from other organizations. At the time, this was a novel feature and at this particular hospital only available as an Epic to Epic solution called CareEverywhere. The night we turned the system on, our ED department pulled records from a hospital about 60 miles away on a patient that ultimately needed to be intubated.
The notes from the other hospital included details about a previous traumatic intubation of the patient and a recommendation for using a smaller than usual tube for this patient. The ED physicians were able to adjust their approach to care for this patient and ultimately save the patient pain, trauma, and complications to his condition. The value of interoperability and sharing patient records between health systems was made very clear that first night.
Seven years later, just finishing up another Epic implementation with a large academic medical center, it is exciting to see that organization exchange over 4.9M records with 34,000+ clinics, hospitals and emergency departments across all 50 states in the span of a little over a year. The value of your providers having access to structured information about your past care doesn't just help them not ask you the same questions over and over; it can make a huge impact in their care decisions for you or even save your life.