- Earlier this week, the trade association announced that Epic Systems, Cerner Corporation, six other health IT companies had agreed to move to Version 2 of the EHR Developer Code of Conduct. Validations tied to the first version, introduced back in June 2013, are set to expire on July 1, 2017.
“We are very encouraged that the Code has gained wide recognition among EHR developers to the extent that many of those who initially adopted it have made the effort to integrate the new tenets of Version 2 into their operations and policies,” Sasha TerMaat, Association Chair and Director at Epic, said in a public statement.
As a general rule, subscribing EHR developers must “support the key goals of high quality, safe and efficient patient care, interoperable exchange and use of health information, usability, and patient engagement” and help enable their customers to achieve the same.
“The health IT industry has evolved since the Code was released in 2013, and the changes reflected in the new version reflects an opportunity to renew and expand our commitment to our customers and industry stakeholders in general,” added GE Healthcare Digital’s Mark Segal PhD, FHIMSS.
The code spans principles across seven categories:
1. General business practices
2. Patient safety
4. Interoperability and data portability
5. Clinical and billing documentation
6. Privacy and security
7. Patient engagement
As with Version 1, select EHR developers are able to seek out validation.
“The EHR Developer Code of Conduct applies to EHR developers, which might be stand-alone companies or divisions or business units of companies with other non-EHR lines of business,” EHRA stipulates. “As we are mindful of the laws and regulations that affect our clients, as well as the important role of health IT in their environments, the Code is intended to complement related government actions, not supersede or duplicate them.”
However, EHR developers need not be members of EHRA.
According to the implementation guidance for Version 2 of the EHR Developer Code of Conduct, its adoption is “at the discretion the each individual company” but should likely entail educating staff about their obligations relative to the EHR development guidance as well as establishing means for monitoring its adoption and communicating that to other stakeholders.