Burwell: EHR giants Epic, Cerner, Meditech among those taking pledge to standardize health IT

The vendors, as well as organizations like HIMSS and AHIMA, will support standardized APIs and will make patient access easier, the HHS secretary says.
By Bernie Monegain
09:53 PM

Nearly every big name in healthcare technology has pledged to use standardized APIs, to make patient access easier and to not block information, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced during her HIMSS16 keynote Monday night.

“Companies that provide 90 percent of electronic health records used by hospitals nationwide as well as the top five largest private healthcare systems in the country have agreed to implement three core commitments,” she said.

Companies that offer the most EHRs – Cerner, Epic and Meditech – were among those that took the pledge.

"Today's commitments are a critical first step,” Burwell said.

Burwell also announced that the government created a task force to address cybersecurity in healthcare.

Shortly after the announcement, AHIMA announced its support of the HHS initiative, as did Premier and several other organizations, including HIMSS, that Burwell mentioned in her talk.

“AHIMA believes these three principles will make a significant and meaningful difference in making sure health information is available where and when it’s needed,” said AHIMA CEO Lynne Thomas Gordon, in a statement.

“To drive innovation you have to take certain risks,” founder and CEO of Dell Michael Dell said in a wide-ranging keynote fireside chat with Ascension CIO Mark Barner.

“Don’t wait until you’re forced to change,” Dell said.

He also talked about increasing cyberthreats  targeting healthcare because the data is the most valuable. For example, $363 is the going rate for a medical record on the black market.

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This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the HIMSS16 conference. Follow our live blog for real-time updates, and visit Destination HIMSS16 for a full rundown of our reporting from the show. For a selection of some of the best social media posts of the show, visit our Trending at #HIMSS16 hub.

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