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HIMSS: athenahealth develops HIT code of conduct


A health information technology "code of C=conduct" proposed by athenahealth Inc. calls on the HIT industry, particularly electronic health record vendors, to abide by five principles related to data portability, patient safety, provider freedom of choice, and meaningful use.

A Health Infomation Technology (HIT) "Code of Conduct" proposed by athenahealth Inc. calls on the HIT, particularly electronic health record (EHR) vendors, to abide by five principles related to data portability, patient safety, provider freedom of choice, and meaningful use.

Farzad Mostashari, MD, of the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT, has challenged HIT vendors to “step up” and agree to a Code of Conduct that sets forth principles to protect patients, guard against fraud, and empower HIT to realize its potential to revolutionize healthcare. athenahealth says that its peer vendors can sign on to its framework and has launched an online portal to gather online “signatures.”

The five principles HIT vendors are being challenged to adhere to are:

  • empower data portability and provider choice,

  • build a true nationwide information backbone,

  • protect patients,

  • prevent fraud, and

  • drive meaningful use.

“The HIT Code of Conduct is a call to the industry to abide by a uniform set of high standards that providers should expect and demand as they invest in technology and services as a means to improve care delivery,” says Jonathan Bush, chief executive officer and chairman of athenahealth. “These are things we’ve committed to do for our clients-things that we believe our industry must do if HIT is going to join the 21st century and finally realize its potential to transform healthcare.”

“These are simple propositions that we think can have a significant impact-if we get broad buy-in from our peer companies and the providers we all serve,” said Dan Haley, VP of Government Affairs, athenahealth.

“The principles in the code squarely address some of the central policy issues facing the HIT industry, providing not only a push to move the industry forward, but also a strong signal to our providers and to government that our industry understands its responsibility to proactively address those issues,” he adds.

athenahealth is among the EHR vendors participating in the Medical Economics EHR Best Practices Study, which pairs vendors and primary care practices to test fully functional EHRs for 2 years. The primary care physicians are receiving installation, training, and support and in exchange have agreed to detail their experiences for their fellow physicians.



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