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EHR interoperability, regulations top patient record concerns

From meeting new government standards to navigating interoperability woes, providers have a lot on their minds. Find out how they are accommodating EHR regulations without sacrificing security.


Electronic health records are used more frequently as healthcare providers learn to balance their function against EHR regulations. Patients also are clamoring for access to their data as a way to communicate with their physicians and better understand their care.

Meaningful use requirements, which hounded many hospital EHR efforts, will change with new regulations that will require physicians and healthcare systems to prove they're not blocking information flow among EHRs. The lack of interoperability between EHR systems is a common problem making headlines that healthcare providers and vendors will need to tackle more aggressively.

In this SearchHealthIT essential guide, read about EHR regulation updates, common EHR interoperability and security issues and what EHR software vendors are up to -- plus, top patient record concerns.

1Regulating electronic records-

EHR regulation news and updates

EHR systems are often big news in the health IT world. That is likely to continue as providers work to ensure their systems and those belonging to their business partners comply with the major health IT regulations, such as the meaningful use and the upcoming Medicare Access and Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (MACRA). For some, this has meant staying the course on their steady EHR implementation. Dissatisfaction with an ill-fitting system has driven some providers to drop their EHR systems and select new ones.


MACRA changes meaningful use, but doesn't replace it

One top CMS professional says meaningful use is dead, but another suggests it will live on -- changing under the MACRA healthcare law. Continue Reading


Medicare reimbursement rules to modify meaningful use

A new Medicare reimbursement law requires physicians and healthcare systems to prove they are not blocking information flow by proving EHR systems allow timely access to patient data, among other things. Continue Reading


CHIME, AMA among healthcare groups in favor of meaningful use alterations

Numerous healthcare groups, including the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, had a positive response to the updated meaningful use reporting requirements. Find out why those groups were pleased. Continue Reading


The next era of health IT won't include meaningful use

Electronic health record systems will be part of the future of health IT, but they won't be where providers are spending the majority of their budgets. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Meaningful use: Coalition of healthcare groups call for 90-day reporting period

Organizations call on CMS to 'act quickly' and shorten the meaningful use reporting period from 365 days to 90 days. Shaun Sutner talks to CHIME's CEO and board chairman. Continue Reading


The end is near for meaningful use

According to Andy Slavitt, acting administrator of CMS, the meaningful use program is winding down and will be replaced by a new, improved program. Continue Reading

2EHR-to-EHR communication-

EHR interoperability: Issues and news

Some vendors are reluctant to turn away from their legacy systems and join policymakers in their march toward EHR interoperability. However, the federal government is making moves to decrease information blocking. In the meantime, providers are still adopting and upgrading EHR systems and considering how their systems will hold up in the future. New technology presents providers with resources in the EHR interoperability struggle.


Video: Military says healthcare IT interoperability is nonnegotiable

At the CHIME15 Fall CIO Forum, Kristen Lee talks to Colonel Nicole Kerkenbush, military deputy program executive officer for the Defense Healthcare Management Systems, and Zane Burke, president at Cerner Corporation, about interoperability. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Epic's interoperability called into question

An article portrayed the interoperability of Epic's EHRs in an unflattering light. Read on to see the author's very personal take on the vendor. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Epic hits back against interoperability critiques

Peter DeVault, vice president of interoperability at Epic, offered a rebuttal to those that believe Epic's EHR system isn't very interoperable. Continue Reading


Open systems, interoperability two features of EHR systems

Open EHR systems can be more interoperable, but developers must strike a balance between open and closed systems or data governance can suffer. Continue Reading

Blog Post

ONC Tech Lab's interoperability standards program

Before HIMSS 2016, ONC announced the new 'Interoperability Proving Ground,' an open portal on which developers of interoperability initiatives can post descriptions of their current projects and estimated end dates. Continue Reading


Q&A: Effective population health analytics requires interoperability

Jonathan Niloff, M.D., explains why interoperability is so important to population health. Read the feature to learn obstacles, the role of cloud and best patient engagement strategies. Continue Reading


Lack of interoperability at the center of EHR problems, CIOs say

Two healthcare CIOs share stories about EHR issues. Spoiler alert: Interoperability is to blame. Continue Reading


Information blocking controversy continues, interoperability standards needed

To reform the nation's healthcare delivery system, the government's top healthcare official suggests instituting interoperability and health IT standards. In this news story, read this and more from HIMSS 2016. Continue Reading

3Electronic records security-

Common EHR errors and security issues

Patient trust grows as EHRs become more widely utilized, but patient data security is still a major concern for healthcare organizations. For starters, electronic records are often riddled with errors. Then, there are ongoing debates related to information sharing and probability of data breaches. Read on to see how to remedy certain EHR errors, protect patient data and avoid breaches.


Avoid EHR errors with advice from a MGH physician

Information in a patient's medical record is often incorrect, says Dhruv Khullar, a resident physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. This tip shares four common errors and the remedies. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Patient confidence grows for EHR privacy and security, ONC survey says

Over the past few years, patients' trust in providers' abilities to protect their health data has increased, says ONC poll. Get the numbers in this Health IT Pulse blog post. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Small practices trust cloud-based EHRs

Small medical practice physicians believe making the switch to cloud-based EHR systems might help reduce their chances of a data breach. Continue Reading


Patient data sharing: CIO Halamka advocates for opt-in or -out system

John Halamka, CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, advises healthcare CIOs to give up on privacy. In this video, listen to Halamka's extreme view on patient data sharing. Continue Reading


Ponemon survey: Data breaches in healthcare are widespread

In the healthcare industry, 89% of organizations have been breached, and 50% of those data breaches were from cybercriminals, according to a Ponemon Institute report. Continue Reading

Blog Post

Protect valuable patient information with encryption, endpoint security

Medical data is valuable. A report by the Institute for Health Technology Transformation breaks down the price of patient records on the black market. Continue Reading

4EHR market-

EHR systems vendors and software

As the EHR market continues to grow and evolve, vendors like Epic Systems Corp. and Cerner Corp. battle for the top spot. Healthcare organizations shopping for electronic health records software have a lot to consider -- the price tag, interoperability, security and compliance are all top-of-mind. In this section, dive into the market numbers from CMS and KLAS. Then read use cases from nurses and healthcare CIOs.


Infographic: Cerner second to Epic in battle for EHR market

Epic Systems Corp. continues to lead the pack in the EHR market, but Cerner Corp. is in a close second, according to meaningful records from CMS. See stats in this SearchHealthIT infographic. Continue Reading


Can Cerner catch Epic in EHR race? KLAS says maybe

Epic still tops the list of EHR vendors in the United States, but Cerner could catch up. Learn what KLAS' VP of clinical research has to say. Continue Reading


Health IT analysts explain why the DoD EHR contract went to Cerner

A group that includes Cerner Corporation won the $4.3 billion U.S. Department of Defense EHR contract over other bidders. A trio of health IT analysts break down why Cerner's victory wasn't an upset. Continue Reading


Meaningful use attestation data lends insight into market distribution

Cerner Corporation and Epic Systems Corp. were predictably atop the leaderboards for having most ambulatory and inpatient customers that attested to meaningful use criteria. However, there were some surprises hidden in the mass of attestation data. Continue Reading


Six reasons healthcare pros consider switching EHR systems

Swapping out core healthcare systems that document patients' clinical, billing, scheduling and registration information is a demanding process. This tip explains common reasons to go the EHR replacement route. Continue Reading

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Nurses and executive discuss results of EHR replacements

According to a Black Book Market Research survey of healthcare executives and IT staff, EHR replacement didn't negatively impact patient care. However, 96% of nurses said they weren't included in the planning process, and 90% of them reported the changes that resulted from transitioning to a new EHR reduced their ability to effectively administer care. Continue Reading


Moving to a single-solution EHR: The good and bad, from CIOs

In this feature, two CIOs discuss their single-solution EHR migrations. The executives suggest that while the EHR software improved workflow and patient care, it didn't solve every problem. Continue Reading


Learn about the revenue risks tied to EHR implementation

A revenue cycle management experts shares six tips for lessening the financial burden of installing an EHR system. Continue Reading

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