Providers, EHR Vendors Lag On Copy-Paste, Fraud Safegaurds

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | December 13, 2013

Hospitals, clinicians and health IT companies could be doing more to control EHR copy-and-pasting and over-documentation and prevent potential fraud, according to the HHS Inspector General.

The Office of the Inspector General found that nearly all of the more than 800 hospitals it surveyed in late 2012 had federally recommended EHR audit functions in place, but “may not be using them to their full extent,” while only a quarter of them had policies on the notoriously problematic practice of copy and pasting — and many couldn’t even disable copy-and-pasting if they wanted.

Those recommendations, issued in June 2007 by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and RTI International, laid out standards for audit functions (such as documenting update methods and retaining original documents), user authentication, data transfers (including encryption) and patient-involvement in fraud prevention.