Rule to boost EHR oversight gets White House review

A proposed rule that would grant federal officials more oversight of complaints and safety issues related to electronic health records moved one step closer to finalization last week.

The rule, first proposed in March, was received by the White House Office of Management and Budget on Thursday, according to its regulatory review page.

When finalized, the measure would allow the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to review certified EHR programs directly and handle complaints that the technologies aren't working or could put patient safety at risk. Currently, the ONC uses private sector organizations to oversee EHR-related issues.

Health technology industry groups have expressed concerns that the rule would give the ONC “overly broad and ambiguous authority” over EHRs, Bloomberg BNA reported.

The rule also would expand transparency and availability of the ONC's technology surveillance results, and allow the agency to take action when “non-conformities” are identified in health IT.

The final rule is expected to be released in October.