OpenSpecimen and EMR (Epic) integration

Overview

EMR (like Epic, Cerner, etc) contains patients demographics and clinical data among other data. Integrating EMR with OpenSpecimen enables biobank staff to look-up patients based on MRN and register to a study.  This approach will avoid manual data entry errors and saves end-users’ time. 

This document explains the different integration options between any EMR and OpenSpecimen.

HL7 based integration

EMRs can send send HL7 messages (ADT) to OpenSpecimen for every patient add, edit, merge, and delete. Since most of these patients will not have specimens collected, the plugin stores the data in a staging table. When an end-user registers a new participant in OpenSpecimen, it will look up the staging table based on MRN. If it finds a match, the system moves to the patient from staging to the OpenSpecimen database.

Nightly data export from EMR

Data from EMR can be exported into a database table or CSV file every night. OpenSpecimen can use this table to lookup for patient information. This approach is useful if the EMR cannot send HL7 messages to OpenSpecimen.

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