Frequently Asked Questions

Fast, easy access to healthcare data is now possible through our modern API platform. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions to help you get started.

How does the Particle API work?

Our API is simple! Send through patient demographic information to query the network. The Particle API has access to the digital medical records of ~250M unique lives across the United States. If we are able to successfully match a patient, you will receive any available files for that individual.

How does the Particle API know where to locate records?

We’ve developed a proprietary record locator service (RLS). In short, we use the patient's home location and perform a radius search in conjunction with other heuristics and patient registries that we are connected to. This RLS allows for the highest success rate in the most efficient manner.

Who can query with Particle’s API?

Anyone with a valid purpose of use can query the Particle API. To access Particle’s API to query for patient files without explicit patient consent, you must be a covered entity or hold a BAA with a covered entity. Otherwise, we may require patient consent or authorization before you can query.

Do I need BAAs with every provider, hospital, etc. I want to pull data from?

Nope! One BAA with us gets you instant access to every hospital, clinic, and lab in our network.

Can I test the API on myself?

Not at this time. The Particle API is designed for healthcare activities and must correspond to the purpose of use submitted in the query. Our network is built on trust; compliance is a term of our user agreement.

How do you handle patient matching?

Particle Health currently does not attempt to match patients before querying for data. Patient matching is handled by either a centralized network entity or the individual data holding organization. Each organization in our network may thus have their own criteria and threshold for what constitutes a safe and accurate patient match. The best way to get a patient match and be able to pull the associated data is to submit as much valid data as you have in your initial query. Particle Health is very involved in patient matching optimization efforts with our network partners and our team can work with you to determine what data is valid and how you can optimize your results.

What data can I access via the Particle API?

The API will return a wide range of clinical data, from social history to vitals to procedural notes. For details about what data you can expect, see our one pager here.

What type of files will I get back?

The Particle API will return a range of CDA documents, most commonly: Continuity of Care Documents, Office Visit Summaries, Lab Orders, Refill Orders and Doctor Notes.

Can I pull data from outside of the United States?

Currently no, we are focusing on networks within the United States.

How long does it take to integrate with the Particle API?

The simplicity of Particle’s API makes integrating super quick! Within just a few days, production keys can be issued and querying can begin.

What information is required to query a patient?
  • Patient First & Last Name
  • Patient Date of Birth
  • Patient ZIP Code
  • Gender
  • Patient Address Detail (optional but recommended)
Should I include the patient’s full address when querying?

Yes. The patient’s address will dramatically increase the chance of a successful match.

Do I need an individual's patient portal credentials to access their records?

Nope! One of our biggest differentiators is our ability to instantly pull records without patient portal passwords.

Do I need to know the doctor or facility I want to find my patient’s data from?

Nope! We run a proprietary search for your patient’s records across many, many end-points. You don’t have to know the doctor or the facility!

What’s the purpose of the NPI, and is it required?

The National Provider Identifier helps us and our networks understand who is querying for patient data and is used for tracking purposes.  It is not required, but if available, NPI can be quite helpful in the case of an audit.

How do I achieve the highest success rate?

The more data you submit in the initial POST query the better. Including the patient’s address can significantly improve chances of success.

What’s the best way to view C-CDA documents?

Most EHR solutions have native C-CDA viewers as a requirement of Meaningful Use. If you don’t have access to these viewers we host a secure C-CDA viewer within our customer portal that is free to use. It is also possible to apply stylesheets to make the XML human readable. We are investigating the best solution to help automate this use case moving forward.

How do I know which Purpose of Use fits my use case?

Talk to us!
Before providing you access to query live patient data, we will work with you to ensure that you are able to query for the data you need in a way that is compliant with federal and/or local policies.  Depending on your specific situation, we may require patient consent or authorization before you can query.