Helping patients share EHR data with researchers

What is Sync for Science (S4S)?

Sync for Science (S4S) is a national collaboration among electronic health record (EHR) vendors – including Allscripts, Cerner, eClinicalWorks, and Epic – and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), and Harvard Medical School’s Department of Biomedical Informatics.

Who benefits from S4S?

Research Participants

An easier way of contributing to scientific progress and sharing medical records with researchers that eliminates faxing forms, in-person visits, and other delays.


A simple path to receive research participants’ baseline clinical data electronically, including allergies and intolerances, immunizations, lab results, medications, procedures, problems, smoking status, vital signs, patient demographics, and patient documents. Ease of acquiring such data electronically may increase participation in studies while the structured format that uses standard coding vocabularies may need less cleanup than typical EHR data.

Health Care Providers

A HIPAA-compliant way to offer patients access to the benefits of participating in research studies while eliminating use of staff and other resources to satisfy patient requests for medical record data requests. Patients data requests and delivery are self-provisioned through the health care providers vendor-supplied EHR patient portal.

EHR Vendors

A scalable method to empower health care provider customers to facilitate research, to participate in the development of stronger health care systems – while also fulfilling EHR Meaningful Use Incentive Program requirements for API-based patient access to their EHR data.

For Developers

S4S Pilot Program 2018 for the All of Us Research Program

Recent Articles


Sync for Science, S4S, All of Us, and PMI are trademarks and/or service marks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service. Sync for Science is funded as part of the Patient-Centered Information Commons (NIH Project 5U54HG007963-03) at Harvard Medical School.

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