Feds release guide for providers on negotiating EHR contracts

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The guide was created from provider feedback, the ONC said
The guide was created from provider feedback, the ONC said

Healthcare providers in the market for an electronic health record system can prepare and plan for their purchase with a new guide released Monday by federal health officials.

EHR Contracts Untangled,” published by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, lays out the issues surrounding EHR selection and contract negotiation so providers can “maximize the value” of their health technology investments.

The guide also includes information on planning for EHR purchases, safety and security, data rights and managing liability. The release comes at a key time, with more long-term care providers migrating toward more sophisticated record-keeping systems in order to keep in line with federal mandates.

The new resource was built from provider feedback the ONC received about the need for “clear, reliable information” on EHR contracts, said B. Vindell Washington, M.D., M.H.C.M., national coordinator for health information technology.

“I know from my experiences practicing emergency medicine and managing information technology for a health system how helpful practical tools can be for clinicians and healthcare administrators as they navigate the purchase and use of health IT,” Washington said.

The ONC also announced Monday an expansion to its “Health IT Playbook,” a tool to help providers implement and use health information technology that first launched earlier this year.