Set up a connector to import Epic EHR audit data (preview)

You can set up a data connector in the Microsoft Purview compliance portal to import audit records for user activity in your organization's Epic Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR) system. Audit records from your Epic EHR system include records for events related to accessing a patient's health records. Epic EHR audit records can be used by the Microsoft Purview Insider Risk Management solution to help protect your organization from unauthorized access to patient information.

Setting up an Epic connector consists of the following tasks:

  • Creating an app in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to access an API endpoint that accepts a tab-separated text file containing Epic EHR audit records.

  • Creating a text file with all the required fields as defined in the connector schema.

  • Creating an Epic connector instance in the compliance portal.

  • Running a script to push Epic EHR audit records to the API endpoint.

  • Optionally, scheduling the script to run automatically to import audit records.

If you’d like to participate in the preview, please reach out to the team at dcfeedback@microsoft.com.

Tip

If you're not an E5 customer, you can try all the premium features in Microsoft Purview for free. Use the 90-day Purview solutions trial to explore how robust Purview capabilities can help your organization manage data security and compliance needs. Start now at the Microsoft Purview compliance portal trials hub. Learn details about signing up and trial terms.

Before you set up the connector

  • The user who creates the Epic connector in Step 3 must be assigned the Data Connector Admin role. This role is required to add connectors on the Data connectors page in the compliance portal. This role is added by default to multiple role groups. For a list of these role groups, see the "Roles in the Defender and compliance portals" section in Roles and role groups in the Microsoft 365 Defender and Microsoft Purview compliance portals. Alternatively, an admin in your organization can create a custom role group, assign the Data Connector Admin role, and then add the appropriate users as members. For instructions, see the "Create a custom role group" section in Permissions in the Microsoft Purview compliance portal.

  • You need to determine how to retrieve or export the data from your organization's Epic EHR system (on a daily basis) and create a text file that's described in Step 2. The script that you run in Step 4 will push the data in the text file to the API endpoint.

  • The sample script that you run in Step 4 pushes the Epic EHR audit records from text file to the connector API so that it can be used by the insider risk management solution. This sample script isn't supported under any Microsoft standard support program or service. The sample script is provided AS IS without warranty of any kind. Microsoft further disclaims all implied warranties including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or of fitness for a particular purpose. The entire risk arising out of the use or performance of the sample script and documentation remains with you. In no event shall Microsoft, its authors, or anyone else involved in the creation, production, or delivery of the scripts be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, damages for loss of business profits, business interruption, loss of business information, or other pecuniary loss) arising out of the use of or inability to use the sample scripts or documentation, even if Microsoft has been advised of the possibility of such damages.

Step 1: Create an app in Azure Active Directory

The first step is to create and register a new app in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD). The app will correspond to the Epic connector that you create in Step 3. Creating this app allows Azure AD to authenticate the push request for text file containing Epic EHR audit records. During the creation of this Azure AD app, be sure to save the following information. These values will be used in later steps.

  • Azure AD application ID (also called the app Id or client Id)

  • Azure AD application secret (also called the client secret)

  • Tenant Id (also called the directory Id)

For step-by-step instructions for creating an app in Azure AD, see Register an application with the Microsoft identity platform.

Step 2: Prepare a text file with Epic EHR audit records

The next step is to create a text file that contains information about employees' access to patient health records in your organization's Epic EHR system. As previously explained, you need to determine how to generate this text file from your Epic EHR system. The Epic connector workflow requires a text file with tab-separated values to map that data in the text file with required connector schema. The file format supported is a pipe- or tab- separated .txt file.

Note

The maximum size of the text file that contains the auditing data is 3 GB. The maximum number of rows is 5 million. Also, be sure to only include the relevant auditing data from your healthcare EHR system.

The following table lists the fields that are required to enable insider risk management scenarios. A subset of these fields is mandatory. These fields are highlighted with an asterisk (*). If any of the mandatory fields are missing in the text file, the file won't be validated and data in the file won't be imported.

Field Category
ACCESS_LOG.ACCESS_TIME*
ACCESS_LOG_METRIC.METRIC_NAME*
ACCESS_LOG.WORKSTATION_ID
ZC_METRIC_GROUP.NAME
ZC_ACCESS_ACTION.NAME
These fields are used to identify access activity events in your Epic EHR system.
PATIENT.PAT_MRN_ID
PATIENT.PAT_FIRST_NAME*
PATIENT.PAT_MIDDLE_NAME
PATIENT.PAT_LAST_NAME*
PATIENT.ADD_LINE_1*
PATIENT.ADD_LINE_2
PATIENT.CITY*
PATIENT.ZIP*
ZC_STATE.NAME
ZC_COUNTRY.NAME
CLARITY_DEP.DEPARTMENT_NAME
These fields are used to identify patient profile information.
ZC_BTG_REASON.NAME*
PAT_BTG_AUDIT.BTG_EXPLANATION
These fields are used to identify access to restricted records.
EMP.SYSTEM_LOGIN*
CLARITY_EMP.USER_ID
employee_last_name1
employee_first_name1
These fields are used to identify employee profile information for address and name matching required to determine access to Family/Neighbor/Employee records.

Note

Make sure you are exporting only the relevant Log metrics from Epic. 1This field isn't available by default in Epic. You need to configure the export to ensure the text file contains this field.

Step 3: Create the Epic connector

The next step is to create an Epic connector in the compliance portal. After you run the script in Step 4, the text file that you created in Step 2 will be processed and pushed to the API endpoint you set up in Step 1. In this step, be sure to copy the JobId that's generated when you create the connector. You'll use the JobId when you run the script.

  1. Go to https://compliance.microsoft.com and then select Data connectors in the left nav.

  2. On the Data connectors page under Epic connector, select View.

  3. On the Epic connector page, select Add connector.

  4. On the Setup the connection page, do the following and then select Next:

    1. Type or paste the Azure AD application ID for the Azure app that you created in Step 2.

    2. Type a name for the Epic connector.

  5. On the Review page, review your settings and then select Finish to create the connector.

    A status page is displayed that confirms the connector was created. This page contains two important things that you need to complete the next step to run the sample script to upload your Epic EHR audit records data.

    Review page with job ID and link to GitHub for sample script

    1. Job ID. You'll need this job ID to run the script in the next step. You can copy it from this page or from the connector flyout page.

    2. Reference schema. Refer to the schema to understand which fields from your Epic system are accepted by connector. This will help you create a file with all the required Epic database fields.

    3. Link to sample script. Select the here link to go to the GitHub site to access the sample script (the link opens a new window). Keep this window open so that you can copy the script in Step 4. Alternatively, you can bookmark the destination or copy the URL so you can access it again when you run the script. This link is also available on the connector flyout page.

  6. Select Done.

    The new connector is displayed in the list on the Connectors tab.

  7. Select the Epic connector that you just created to display the flyout page, which contains properties and other information about the connector.

If you haven't already done so, you can copy the values for the Azure App ID and Connector job ID. You'll need these to run the script in the next step. You can also download the script from the flyout page (or download it using the link in the next step.)

You can also select Edit to change the Azure App ID or the column header names that you defined on the File mapping page.

Step 4: Run the sample script to upload your Epic EHR audit records

The last step in setting up an Epic connector is to run a sample script that will upload the Epic EHR audit records data in the text file (that you created in Step 1) to the Microsoft cloud. Specifically, the script uploads the data to the Epic connector. After you run the script, the Epic connector that you created in Step 3 imports the Epic EHR audit records data to your Microsoft 365 organization where it can be accessed by other compliance tools, such as the Insider risk management solution. After you run the script, consider scheduling a task to run it automatically on a daily basis so the most current employee termination data is uploaded to the Microsoft cloud. See (Optional) Step 6: Schedule the script to run automatically.

Note

As previously stated, the maximum size of the text file that contains the auditing data is 3 GB. The maximum number of rows is 5 million. The script that you run in this step will take about 30 to 40 minutes to import the auditing data from large text files. Additionally, the script will divide large text files into smaller blocks of 100K rows, and then import those blocks sequentially.

  1. Go to window that you left open from the previous step to access the GitHub site with the sample script. Alternatively, open the bookmarked site or use the URL that you copied. You can also access the script here.

  2. Select the Raw button to display the script in text view.

  3. Copy all the lines in the sample script and then save them to a text file.

  4. Modify the sample script for your organization, if necessary.

  5. Save the text file as a Windows PowerShell script file by using a filename suffix of .ps1; for example, EpicConnector.ps1.

  6. Open a Command Prompt on your local computer, and go to the directory where you saved the script.

  7. Run the following command to upload the Epic audit data in the text file to Microsoft cloud; for example:

    .\EpicConnector.ps1 -tenantId <tenantId> -appId <appId>  -appSecret <appSecret>  -jobId <jobId>  -filePath '<filePath>'
    

The following table describes the parameters to use with this script and their required values. The information you obtained in the previous steps is used in the values for these parameters.

Parameter Description
tenantId This is the Id for your Microsoft 365 organization that you obtained in Step 1. You can also obtain the tenant Id for your organization on the Overview blade in the Azure AD admin center. This is used to identify your organization.
appId This is the Azure AD application Id for the app that you created in Azure AD in Step 1. This is used by Azure AD for authentication when the script attempts to access your Microsoft 365 organization.
appSecret This is the Azure AD application secret for the app that you created in Azure AD in Step 1. This also used for authentication.
jobId This is the job ID for the Epic connector that you created in Step 3. This is used to associate the Epic EHR audit records that are uploaded to the Microsoft cloud with the Epic connector.
filePath This is the file path for the text file (stored on the same system as the script) that you created in Step 2. Try to avoid spaces in the file path; otherwise use single quotation marks.

Here's an example of the syntax for the Epic connector script using actual values for each parameter:

.\EpicConnector.ps1 -tenantId d5723623-11cf-4e2e-b5a5-01d1506273g9 -appId 29ee526e-f9a7-4e98-a682-67f41bfd643e -appSecret MNubVGbcQDkGCnn -jobId b8be4a7d-e338-43eb-a69e-c513cd458eba -filePath 'C:\Users\contosoadmin\Desktop\Data\epic_audit_records.txt'

If the upload is successful, the script displays the Upload Successful message.

Note

If you have problems running the previous command because of execution policies, see About Execution Policies and Set-ExecutionPolicy for guidance about setting execution policies.

Step 5: Monitor the Epic connector

After you create the Epic connector and push your EHR audit records, you can view the connector and upload status in the compliance portal. If you schedule the script to run automatically on a regular basis, you can also view the current status after the last time the script ran.

  1. Go to https://compliance.microsoft.com and select Data connectors in the left nav.

  2. Select the Connectors tab and then select the Epic connector to display the flyout page. This page contains the properties and information about the connector.

  3. Under Last import, select the Download log link to open (or save) the status log for the connector. This log contains information about each time the script runs and uploads the data from the text file to the Microsoft cloud.

    Epic connector log file displays number rows from text file that were uploaded

    The RecordsSaved field indicates the number of rows in the text file that uploaded. For example, if the text file contains four rows, then the value of the RecordsSaved fields is 4, if the script successfully uploaded all the rows in the text file.

If you've haven't run the script in Step 4, a link to download the script is displayed under Last import. You can download the script and then follow the steps to run the script.

(Optional) Step 6: Schedule the script to run automatically

To make sure the latest audit records from your Epic EHR system are available to tools like the insider risk management solution, we recommend that you schedule the script to run automatically on a daily basis. This also requires that you update the Epic audit record data in the same text file on a similar (if not the same) schedule so that it contains the latest information about patient records access activities by your employees. The goal is to upload the most current audit records so that the Epic connector can make it available to the insider risk management solution.

You can use the Task Scheduler app in Windows to automatically run the script every day.

  1. On your local computer, select the Windows Start button and then type Task Scheduler.

  2. Select the Task Scheduler app to open it.

  3. In the Actions section, select Create Task.

  4. On the General tab, type a descriptive name for the scheduled task; for example, Epic connector script. You can also add an optional description.

  5. Under Security options, do the following things:

    1. Determine whether to run the script only when you're logged on to the computer or run it when you're logged on or not.

    2. Make sure that the Run with the highest privileges checkbox is selected.

  6. Select the Triggers tab, select New, and then do the following things:

    1. Under Settings, select the Daily option, and then choose a date and time to run the script for the first time. The script will run every day at the same specified time.

    2. Under Advanced settings, make sure the Enabled checkbox is selected.

    3. Select Ok.

  7. Select the Actions tab, select New, and then do the following things:

    Action settings to create a new scheduled task for the epic connector script.

    1. In the Action dropdown list, make sure that Start a program is selected.

    2. In the Program/script box, select Browse, and go to the following location and select it so the path is displayed in the box: C:.0.exe.

    3. In the Add arguments (optional) box, paste the same script command that you ran in Step 4. For example, .\EpicConnector.ps1 -tenantId "d5723623-11cf-4e2e-b5a5-01d1506273g9" -appId "c12823b7-b55a-4989-faba-02de41bb97c3" -appSecret "MNubVGbcQDkGCnn" -jobId "e081f4f4-3831-48d6-7bb3-fcfab1581458" -filePath "C:\Epic\audit\records.txt"

    4. In the Start in (optional) box, paste the folder location of the script that you ran in Step 4. For example, C:\Epic\audit.

    5. Select Ok to save the settings for the new action.

  8. In the Create Task window, select Ok to save the scheduled task. You might be prompted to enter your user account credentials.

    The new task is displayed in the Task Scheduler Library.

    The new task for the healthcare connector script is displayed in the Task Scheduler Library.

    The last time the script ran and the next time it's scheduled to run is displayed. You can double-select the task to edit it.

    You can also verify the last time the script ran on the flyout page of the corresponding Epic connector in the compliance center.