A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine examined the impact of the HITECH Act on EHR adoption and advised policymakers on ways to improve provider satisfaction and health IT innovation in the post-HITECH era.
Co-authors Beth Israel Deaconess CIO John Halamka, MD and Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative CEO Mickey Tripathi, PhD acknowledged that HITECH is responsible for encouraging most hospitals and physician practices to adopt EHR systems.
However, some of the act’s effects were less than beneficial. Provider satisfaction in particular took a hit as a result of stringent, complex regulations.
Health information exchange (HIE) collectives and networks-of-networks including eHealth Exchange, CommonWell, and Surescripts help promote secure health data exchange across healthcare facilities nationwide.
Specifically, many networks-of-networks have been successful in promoting standardization through the use of the Carequality technical and legal framework. In 2016, CommonWell signed an agreement with Carequality to implement the Carequality Interoperability Framework to further promote interoperability. As part of the agreement, CommonWell and The Sequoia Project agreed to carry out the interoperability and health data exchange activities necessary to create a Carequality-compliant CommonWell alliance. Additionally, the two networks agreed to collaborate in the future.
Two health IT groups are calling for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to use existing private sector interoperability models as the agency finalizes guidelines for trusted data exchange.
The ONC is currently developing a Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement required under the 21st Century Cures Act to facilitate health data interoperability. The agency already kicked off the initiative with a stakeholder meeting on July 24, and officials have asked stakeholders to submit comments on the framework by Friday, Aug. 25.
The Electronic Health Record Association (EHRA), which represents 30 electronic health record (EHR) companies, urged the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to build on existing standards and technology for interoperability, rather than introducing major mid-course changes, with regard to its work on the 21st Century Cures Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement.
The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to move its health records to the same system used by the Pentagon. VA would adopt the Pentagon’s electronic records system, known as MHS Genesis, acquired by DoD in 2015. Fairchild AFB, Wash., is the first military hospital to use it with more hospitals expected to start this year.
Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in Wyoming recently connected to the Sequoia Project’s eHealth Exchange using Epic EHR. Connecting to the federal eHealth Exchange gives CRMC access to the largest secure health data sharing network in the country.
Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (CRMC) has recently connected its electronic medical record system to the federal eHealth Exchange, the largest secure health-data sharing network in the nation.
Through the eHealth Exchange, CRMC is now able to connect to healthcare organizations and federal agencies that use a variety of electronic medical record systems. This includes the Veteran’s Administration, Department of Defense and Social Security Administration.
In late 2016, the Social Security Administration announced the launch of a new Health IT initiative with the Department of Veterans Affairs that enables all Social Security disability case processing sites to receive medical records electronically from all VA facilities.
Veterans will receive a faster decision on their Social Security disability claim, speeding them and their dependents through this new process.
Both agencies will save time and money with an automatic request through the eHealth Exchange.
Health records at the Department of Veterans Affairs will eventually move to the same system used by the Pentagon, the VA’s top official announced Monday.
The move marks a shift from the VA’s previous plan to develop its own system to digitize records. It will bring the agencies closer to sharing veterans’ health information in an effort to solve a problem that has plagued the two departments for decades.
Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc. (VITL), operators of the Vermont Health Information Exchange (Vermont HIE), and Medicity, the leading provider of population health management solutions, today announced that VITL has launched its external connection to the Veterans Health Information Exchange (VHIE), also known as the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) program. This makes it easier for providers inside and outside the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to share health information for the more than 48,600 veterans who live in Vermont.