In a recently released Data Brief, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) described trends in adoption of Basic EHR and certified EHR in non-federal acute care hospitals from 2008 to 2014.  “Basic EHR represents a minimum use of core functionality determined to be essential to an EHR system.”  “A certified EHR is EHR technology that meets the technological capability, functionality, and security requirements adopted by the Department of Health and Human Services.”  Data cited in the brief are from the American Hospital Association (AHA) Information Technology (IT) Supplement to the AHA Annual Survey.

The Data Brief identifies and discusses four trends.
Continue Reading ONC Data Brief Describes Positive Trends in the Adoption of EHR Systems

Healthcare providers, health plans, and other entities are increasingly utilizing cloud services to collect, aggregate, store and process data.  A recent report by IDC Health Insights suggests that 80 percent of healthcare data is expected to pass through the cloud by 2020.  As a substantial amount of healthcare data comprises “personal information” or “protected health information” (PHI), federal and state privacy and security laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, raise significant questions for healthcare providers and health plans utilizing the cloud in connection with such data.  Such questions include whether HIPAA requirements extend to cloud providers, how and if entities storing health data on the cloud will be notified in case of a breach, and whether storage of data overseas by cloud providers triggers any additional obligations or concerns.
Continue Reading Moving to the Cloud: Some Key Considerations for Healthcare Entities