HIMSS Joins Healthcare Community on Interoperability Pledge

March 11, 2016

On Monday February 29th as part of her keynote remarks to open HIMSS16, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, announced that companies that provide 90 percent of electronic health records used by U.S. hospitals, the nation’s five largest private healthcare systems, and more than a dozen leading professional associations and stakeholder groups, including HIMSS,  have pledged to implement three core commitments that will improve the flow of health information to consumers and healthcare providers. 

The three commitments are:

  • Consumer Access: To help consumers easily and securely access their electronic health information, direct it to any desired location, learn how their information can be shared and used, and be assured that this information will be effectively and safely used to benefit their health and that of their community. 
  • No Information Blocking: To help providers share individuals’ health information for care with other providers and their patients whenever permitted by law, and not block electronic health information (defined as knowingly and unreasonably interfering with information sharing). 
  • Standards: Implement federally recognized, national interoperability standards, policies, guidance, and practices for electronic health information, and adopt best practices including those related to privacy and security. 

The commitments are by health IT developers who provide electronic health records to the vast majority of the inpatient market, healthcare systems who serve patients in 46 states, and leading professional associations and stakeholder groups will help lead to a future where electronic health data is shared seamlessly and is easily accessible when and where it matters most to providers and consumers.

The commitments along with the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020 and final Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, which were released last year, are designed to put the nation on a path to real, sustainable progress in the near-term to achieving better care for patients as a result of better information flow. As of 2014, nearly all hospitals and three-quarters of physicians use certified electronic health records.

Posted Under: Policy Center, Government Agency