Practice Fusion receives response on Interoperability Pledge

Practice Fusion joined a growing number of health IT vendors that have signed the interoperability pledge recently introduced by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). While signing the HHS pledge represents an initial step for many EHR vendors on the path toward interoperability, Practice Fusion has been connecting doctors, patients and data for over 10 years.

It is essential for the wellness of patients to have interoperability between disparate health IT technologies and systems. The following is our pledge of commitment to interoperability and the response to our pledge by the Department of Health and Human Services:

The Practice Fusion Interoperability Pledge

We, Practice Fusion, share the principle that to achieve an open, connected care for our communities, we all have the responsibility to take action. To further these goals, we commit to the following principles to advance interoperability among health information systems enabling free movement of data, which are foundational to the success of delivery system reform.

  1. Consumer access: To help consumers easily and securely access their electronic health information, direct it to any desired location, learn how their information can be shared and used, and be assured that this information will be effectively and safely used to benefit their health and that of their community.
  2. No Blocking/Transparency: To help providers share individual’s’ health information for care with other providers and their patients whenever permitted by law, and not block electronic health information (defined as knowingly and unreasonably interfering with information sharing).
  3. Standards: Implement federally recognized, national interoperability standards, policies, guidance, and practices for electronic health information, and adopt best practices including those related to privacy and security.

Work Practice Fusion is doing to support these principles:

  • Practice Fusion is committed to the free flow of clinical information to serve the needs of patients and those healthcare professionals caring for them. Since the inception of our company our mission has been: Connecting doctors, patients and data to drive better health and save lives.
  • Our technology stack, product offering and partner affiliations support this commitment, and we have developed an electronic health record (EHR) platform that supports the ability to access and share clinical information and enable care coordination transactions.
  • For more than five years we have worked with partners to provide APIs that facilitate and encourage data sharing. Today, we have over 600 partners connected to our EHR platform that enables collaboration across disparate IT systems.
  • Our cloud-based EHR is uniquely positioned to facilitate efficient and effective information sharing on a scale unmatched in the ambulatory market.
  • We are continuing our interoperability efforts in support of the Meaningful Use Stage 3 requirements and we are fully committed to a connected healthcare ecosystem.

The Department of Health and Human Services Response

Thank you for your recent commitment to advance interoperability through making electronic health information readily available when and where needed to create a secure, yet open and connected health system. You are part of a large group of developers, providers, stakeholder organizations, and other important partners in health IT who made the commitments. Overall, vendors representing 90 percent of electronic health records used by hospitals, health care systems with facilities in 46 states and over two dozen professional associations and stakeholder groups committed to our shared principles of consumer access, no data blocking/ transparency, and implementation of federally recognized, national standards.

We also thank Practice Fusion for agreeing to take action toward our shared goals of unlocking health data to move information when and where it matters most. Your actions will enable us to achieve our ultimate goals of a learning health system that results in better care, smarter spending, and healthier people across the country. Please find more information on others who committed at the HealthI, http://www.healthit.gov/commitments, site.

At the Department of Health and Human Services, we continue to strive to facilitate this progress towards truly seamless, yet secure data flowing leading to a learning health system that supports better care, smarter science, and improved public health. Practice Fusion helped us prioritize actions we had identified in the Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap that could accelerate our collective achievement of that vision. In response to feedback from Practice Fusion, we have the following resources available:

  • The 2016 Interoperability Standards Advisory, which provides a single list of existing and emerging federally recognized, national interoperability standards and guidance, including the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) standard.
  • Funding to catalyze the development user-friendly, market ready innovations, like consumer and provider software applications.
  • New and more easily accessible information on the health information technology (IT) market through the Certified Health IT Product List and the 2015 Edition of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT Certification Program Criteria.
  • HIPAA guidance that clarifies the right of individuals to access health information and how providers can use and exchange health information to foster interoperability.

We look forward to our continued collaboration with you on these efforts in order to turn the commitments into reality. We plan to reconvene our pledge partners soon to discuss the progress we have made together and will.