HHS and ONC post transparency data to make buying EHRs easier

The new tool includes pricing and product limitation data to help make the process of selecting an electronic health record system less complex, according to National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD. 
By Tom Sullivan
09:19 AM

National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, announced late Tuesday afternoon that the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT would post information for making certified electronic health record software less confusing.

"This is to put plain language out there for providers wanting to purchase health IT," DeSalvo said. "This is a way to let folks know what they are purchasing and allow for a more transparent marketplace."

DeSalvo added that many EHR vendors agreed to support the initiative and are moving to be more transparent via the site, which is at healthIT.gov/transparency.

The site went live Wednesday morning, in fact, and EHR vendors Allscritps, Cerner, eClinicalWorks, Epic, McKesson and Meditech all qualified as having supported the Transparency Attestation and supplied Public Product Disclosers, the first section of which addresses costs and limitations of their software.

[Also: ONC offers 4 ways to build better EHR comparison shopping tools]

Most of the EHR makers rated as "Declined to support" or "Has not fulfilled requirement" are smaller vendors offering modules or servicing niche markets.

DeSalvo said the website currently contains all the transparency information ONC has and the office will update it moving forward.

ONC's transparency tool builds on the office’s initiatives to improve EHRs, interoperability, health information exchange and patient access to data, including the10-year Interoperability Roadmap, the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan, and the interoperability pledge that Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell revealed at HIMSS16.

"One of the ways that we can continue to advance on those commitments is to push for market transparency," DeSalvo said.

ONC's Annual Meeting is happening this week in Washington, D.C. Other Healthcare IT News articles covering the event include: EHRs now nearly ubiquitous in U.S. hosptials, ONC and AHA say DOD poised to roll out Cerner EHR in December with focus on configuration not customization and ONC's DeSalvo: Time to change the culture of interoperability and data sharing

Twitter: @SullyHIT
Email the writer: tom.sullivan@himssmedia.com

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