Health Information Exchanges Report Information Blocking

Kate Monica | EHR Intelligence | March 23, 2017

A new study finds information blocking is commonplace among EHR vendors, causing persistent problems for health information exchanges.

Despite widespread disapproval and Congressional scrutiny, information blocking remains a problem for health information exchanges working to connect providers and their EHR systems. Drawing data from a national survey of 60 HIE leaders, a new study by researchers at University of Michigan Schools of Information and Public Health found information blocking to be widespread and the policies in place to mitigate the practice ineffective.

The pair of researchers — Julia Adler-Milstein, PhD, and Eric Pfeifer — gathered data regarding information blocking, its varying forms, and the effectiveness of policies designed to reduce it. Fifty percent of respondents reported engaging with EHR vendors who participated in information blocking, and a quarter of respondents reported hospitals and health systems are guilty of the practice.

“Among hospitals and health systems, the most common form was coercing providers to adopt particular EHR or HIE technology,” wrote Adler-Milstein & Pfeifer. Based on their findings, researchers acknowledge more information is needed regarding precisely when and where information blocking occurs to make a more targeted impact in decreasing instances of the offense....