Gov't Backs Down on EHR Security Requirements

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Starting in 2011, doctors and hospitals were given $28 billion in federal funding to stimulate the installation of EHR systems. These providers are supposed to attest that they were using them meaningfully to improve patient care. However, the Department of Health and Human Services is now considering a revision of their rule that will address the complaints of healthcare professionals. There are a wide range of issues with the implementation of EHRs, such as the lack of interoperability and time it takes to enter the data. Some other major issues with EHRs include the following:

  • Reliability- System crashes are becoming increasingly common.
  • Safety- Some information may be accidentally distorted in the EHR system.
  • Liability- If EHRs are not used properly, they can increase the risk of errors, malpractice and lawsuits.

Some advocates for the usage of EHR systems claim that the government is hindering their efforts. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed rules to extend the time doctors, hospitals and tech companies have to meet EHR requirements. Moreover, the HHS has reduced the amount of data that must be collected on the EHR system and reduced how many patients have to access their own personal EHR from 5% to one person. Some people claim that the government is too involved to the point that vendors are spending too much time meeting federal regulations rather than innovating.

Summary by Caroline Smith

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Caroline Smith is currently a senior at the University of Notre Dame and is a contributor to Medical Groups. She is majoring in Science-Business and Spanish. After graduation, Caroline plans on entering the field of healthcare consulting. She is most interested in the evolving policy changes in the healthcare industry and enjoys learning about new technologies that are being developed.