Today, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. 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 have pledged to implement three core commitments that will improve the flow of health information to consumers and healthcare providers.
We share the principle that, to achieve an open, connected care for our communities, we all have the responsibility to take action. To further these goals, we are pledging to the following commitments to advance interoperability among health information systems enabling free movement of data, which are foundational to the success of delivery system reform.
Three interoperability commitments:
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.
We believe that ubiquitous interoperability happens when patient information can move freely among competing systems without organizational, vendor or geographic barriers.
No Blocking/Transparency: 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).
We believe that every individual has a right to access their complete health record, regardless of where it’s located or what system contains the data. It is immoral and unethical for any organization to block the flow of information that could help individuals — and their providers — make better-informed decisions about their care.
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.
Cerner’s support and leadership in this space have been well-documented. We are strongly committed to national interoperability standards, but we also believe that appropriate business incentives and sufficient national infrastructure must be in place for the interoperability standards to be used efficiently and at national scale.