When configuring Epic for automated appointment reminders, you may find the need to integrate with a third party application, such as Televox. Integrating with Epic can be particularly challenging, because each health system's configuration of the software is slightly different, making each integration essentially a new project. In this article, you learn how to integrate with flat files in Reporting Workbench and set up appointment reminders.

One fairly straightforward way of integrating with Epic, and with other software applications in general, is through the use of flat files. Flat file integration can often be much easier to set up than a traditional API , though it does have some downside. This article does a pretty great job going into detail on that subject.

Reporting Workbench is Epic's tool for end user reporting, used by everyone from Physicians to IT administrators. Reporting Workbench reports are created from Templates, which include the default settings for a report such as search base (e.g., All Patients, Admitted Patients, Patients on My Care Team) and report type (real-time, Clarity, extract). IT administrators can use various extract templates in Reporting Workbench to enable integration with a variety of third party applications. One that we will focus on in this article is how to integrate with an automated appointment calling solution in Epic through a flat file extract.

Step 1: Define the fields needed for integration and create the extract

Typical appointment reminder solutions will need information about the appointment, such as the date/time, as well as information about the patient, such as their preferred phone number. You can create an extract based off of ES Automatic Appointment Notices, and that should provide a good starting point. When you use the Extract Format Editor, you can choose to copy an existing extract. Once the new extract is created, you can update it to include any additional columns beyond what is included in the base.

Step 2: Define the criteria to determine which appointments to send in the extract

Now that the extract has been created, the next step is to create a Reporting Workbench report to define the subset of patients and appointments that should be sent in the extract. In My Reports > Library, search for the template ES Automatic Notices, and create a new report. Update the criteria to include only the appointments you want to send.

Step 3: Send the extract via sftp to a third-party system

You can automate Reporting Workbench reports using Epic batch jobs/runs. Use the template RW Extract Batch Template to create a set of batch, job, and run records to schedule an automated export of the extract to be sent to a secure fileshare. You'll likely have to involve the technical team to determine the appropriate location to send the file to internally, and then set up a script to have it sent to the third party.

Step 4: Receive data back from a third-party system

You can also configure an Epic batch job to import the data back from the third-party system, and store it in Epic. You can set up a batch/job/run record to use the Automatic Notices Appointment import template to process a file from the third party system. The external system would generate a file and send it to a secure file location, and then you can set up the batch record to point to that filepath for a scheduled import.


With these fairly simple steps, you can set up a lightweight integration from Epic to a third-party system to process information related to appointments. The Epic Cadence team at the health system will likely be the ones responsible for setting up the extracts, reports, and batch jobs necessary, and the DBA team likely will need to be included for guidance on where to store the files and how the stfp process will work.