Cavanaugh Consulting Group

Draft Legislation Seeks to Improve EHRs

It’s only proposed legislation and it has been in development all last year but it reflects a surprisingly informed understanding of the issues in the use of EMR’s and it is reported to have bipartisan support. BAI16031 Discussion Draft

The proposed legislation targets the problem of information blocking, that is intentionally interfering with the sharing of electronic health information between doctors and hospitals. They plan accomplishing this by:

  • Convening existing data sharing networks to develop a model framework and common agreement for the secure exchange of health information across existing networks to help foster a “network of networks”.
  • Creating a digital provider directory to both facilitate exchange and allow users to verify the correct recipient,
  • Establishing an initial set of common data elements, such as a standard format for entering date of birth, to facilitate interoperability and streamline quality reporting, and
  • Supporting the secure exchange of electronic health information by certifying that one EHR product is capable of trusted exchange with multiple other EHR products.

Additionally, the legislation would make health IT systems accountable for their performance in three key areas: security, usability, and interoperability. The bill would establish a HIT rating system to allow consumers to compare certified products on those criteria. It would also require vendors to report on their products every two years and assess fines including the decertification of products. This sounds like a government sponsored Consumer Reports.