IN­FOR­MA­TION TECH­NOL­OGY

Cy­ber-in­se­cu­rity mounted in 2016 as a se­ries of high-pro­file at­tacks sig­naled the dark side of the fed­eral govern­ment’s huge push to pro­vide ev­ery Amer­i­can with an elec­tronic health record.

Modern Healthcare - - NEWS - —Joseph Conn

As of this year, 99% of U.S. acute-care hos­pi­tals have adopted an EHR sys­tem, com­pared with 12% in 2009. And ac­cord­ing to HHS, the health­care in­dus­try suf­fered a record 92 pri­vacy breaches at­trib­uted to hack­ing in the first 11 months of 2016, up 64% from 2015.

Mean­while, the govern­ment and the in­dus­try con­tin­ued to strug­gle to make sure the data col­lected in EHRs flows freely among health­care providers and is ac­ces­si­ble to pa­tients.

The fed­eral govern­ment ca­joled com­mit­ments out of top EHR ven­dors to col­lab­o­rate on en­sur­ing that pa­tients and providers can swap in­for­ma­tion with their sys­tems. The 21st Cen­tury Cures Act in­cludes penal­ties of up to $1 mil­lion for ven­dors for “data-block­ing”—when ven­dors and providers in­hibit the move­ment of health in­for­ma­tion for com­mer­cial or com­pet­i­tive rea­sons. The leg­is­la­tion also au­tho­rizes HHS to pe­nal­ize providers who en­gage in the prac­tice.

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