EHR Association offers Code of Conduct

Mickey McGlynn, EHR Association ChairMickey McGlynn, EHR Association Chair

ONC chief gives the plan thumbs up

Calling it a landmark move, the HIMSS EHR Association, a collaboration of more than 40 EHR companies, today released an EHR Developer Code of Conduct. 

“Representing the majority of operational EHRs in physicians’ practices and hospitals in the U.S., today, we understand firsthand the transformative power of health IT, and we offer this Code of Conduct as a reflection of our industry’s ongoing commitment to collaborate as trusted partners with all stakeholders,” said EHR Association Chair Mickey McGlynn, senior director, strategy & operations at Siemens Healthcare, in making the announcement.

ONC chief Farzad Mostashari, MD, who has been critical of some vendor practices, today gave the EHRA kudos on its initiative, especially as it pertains to patient safety.

"The commitment here is very much in line with our national plan," he said. "No customer will feel that they can’t report a patient safety event, and the vendors will investigate them, will remediate them," he said. "It’s really very positive to see the association coming together and making a statement about what we stand for. This is what we believe is the right way to treat our customers."

[See also: EHR Association, iHealth Alliance partner on patient safety.]

The Association developed the code as a reflection of its members’ commitment to supporting safe healthcare delivery, fostering continued innovation, and operating with high integrity in the market for EHR users and their patients and families, McGlynn said.

In response to a question at today's launch of the code, McGlynn emphasized that while the code was approved by the EHR Association, it became available today, and it's now up to individual companies to adopt it.

However, it did immediately draw support from Siemens.

"The release of the EHR Developer Code of Conduct by the EHR Association is an important milestone in the maturation of the healthcare information technology industry, and we at Siemens Healthcare are proud to have supported its drafting and ratification," said John Glaser, CEO, Siemens Healthcare, Health Services. "The Code of Conduct includes many elements that just make too much sense to be ignored, and it's my belief that Siemens and many players in this industry have already been adhering to many of these principles. Codifying these principles and providing a transparent way to show customers that companies are going to adopt them will help propel our industry's ability to deliver safer, more effective and more interoperable solutions."

Mostashari said at the news conference that he expects the EHRA has vendors stacked up and ready to announce adoption in the near-term.

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