ONC to Congress: EHR adoption is widespread, but health IT progress is still stifled

Despite the truth that 96 p.c of hospitals and 78 p.c of doctor practices have adopted licensed health IT — too many hurdles still stand in the best way of progress, in accordance to ONC’s “Annual Update on the Adoption of a Nationwide System for the Electronic Use and Exchange of Health Information”—the company’s annual report to Congress mandated underneath the HITECH Act.

The report discovered that:

  • Despite HIPAA, sufferers still lack the flexibility to entry health information and that makes it tougher to handle their health and store round for medical care
  • Providers additionally lack entry to affected person information on the level of care, significantly true when sufferers see a number of docs
  • And payers usually lack entry to medical information about populations of lined people


Today’s licensed health IT merchandise lack safe entry and sharing of knowledge — like that present in different industries — the type of capabilities wanted to enable for larger innovation, the report says. ONC is keen to see seamless information move, to speed up progress.


ONC has recognized that interoperability has been the sticking level for years and thus modified its focus from significant use of EHRs to a larger emphasis on information sharing. The common hospital has 16 digital medical report platforms throughout varied amenities, which helps to clarify among the issue. Some are even still utilizing faxes to change data, a December ONC report stated.

One potential resolution is opening up, nonetheless. A December report issued by KLAS says extra healthcare organizations ought to be part of the newly launched CommonWell-Carequality community. Many EHR and health IT distributors have eradicated obstacles to participation within the data-sharing community, going as far as to make it plug-and-play. But, what’s holding them again is governance and organizations themselves dragging their toes on taking part in new nationwide interoperability frameworks, such because the CommonWell-Carequality hyperlink.

“Even Epic and athenahealth customers report diminished value from their connection when local exchange partners opt not to connect to the national networks,” in accordance to the KLAS report on interoperability. “Until other vendors take an opt-out approach, you as an organization will have to be proactive in promoting local connections to these networks to ensure high value from your connection.”

Diana Manos is a Washington, D.C.-area freelance author specializing in healthcare, wellness and know-how. 

Twitter: @Diana_Manos
Email the author: dnewsprovider@gmail.com 

Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication. 

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