EHR Contract Guide Will Help Docs Keep Data After Replacement

Jennifer Bresnick | EHR Intelligence | August 1, 2013

A new EHR contract negotiation guide will help providers avoid some of the lesser known pitfalls of EHR implementation, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) says.  With more and more providers replacing their EHRs – and a surprising number of them losing access to their patient data once their original agreement ends – the guide is a timely reminder that meaningful use has created intense competition among developers, not just improved patient care.

An EHR contract isn’t just between a developer and a provider.  It’s also between the provider and its patients.  Patients are the ultimate beneficiaries of an EHR, and they’re the ultimate losers when their health information is lost or unavailable due to a spat between lawyers.

“[Patients] may be harmed by what the EHR technology developer or you do or fail to do,” the guide states.  “These third parties typically do not have the right to sue for breach of contract under the contract itself because they have not signed it and are not parties to it. However, they may have the right to sue the EHR technology developer and/or you for injuries they suffer as the result of negligence, patent infringement, or other ‘acts or omissions’ associated with the EHR system.”