Group of Electronic Health Record Vendors To Become Officially Interoperable

Zina Moukheiber | | June 10, 2014

A group of electronic health record vendors that announced to much fanfare plans to facilitate the exchange of patient data more than a year ago, will start rolling out that facility to their customers this summer. An exact date has not been set. CommonWell Health Alliance members, which include Cerner, McKesson, Allscripts, athenahealth and Greenway, have embedded within their software code that allows health care providers to find and share a patient’s medical information, wherever it might be. Absent from this arrangement is Epic Systems, the dominant electronic health record vendor.

Despite government rules that call for health care providers to electronically exchange patient information, it is not common practice. The lack of interoperability undermines the usefulness of an electronic health record. It has prompted Karen DeSalvo, head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to renew the government’s pledge to push for interoperability. In a newly released report, the ONC outlines its vision for a plan that culminates in 2024—not exactly warp speed, especially for an issue that has been festering for a while...