Thanks to a cooling on Meaningful Use, perhaps 2016 was not quite as eventful for the health IT industry. There were, however, significant happenings that professionals had to deal with daily.

According to a recent article in Modern Healthcare, 99% of acute-care hospitals have an EHR system. What makes that stat so shocking is that just 12% of those same hospitals had an EHR in 2009.

Also on the rise, unfortunately, are health data privacy breaches. The HHS reported 92 privacy breaches in 2016, a 64% increase over 2015’s numbers. That alarming uptick is, no doubt, why CIO’s continually state that ransomware and data security are their number-one concern, even topping data interoperability.

Speaking of interoperabilty, there has been growing sentiment that not only does data need to be easily exchanged between applications and providers, but also with patients. According to that Modern Healthcare article:

“The federal government cajoled commitments out of top EHR vendors to collaborate on ensuring that patients and providers can swap information with their systems.

 

The 21st Century Cures Act includes penalties of up to $1 million for vendors for “data-blocking”—when vendors and providers inhibit the movement of health information for commercial or competitive reasons. The legislation also authorizes HHS to penalize providers who engage in the practice.”

When the government threatens monetary fines, providers tend to take notice. A $1 million dollar or less fine to a major EHR vendor, however, won’t have quite the same impact. The good news is that software such as Corepoint Integration Engine and Corepoint Community Exchange allow providers of all sizes to quickly gain control of their health data and make it easily available to their patients.

In fact, the latest release of Corepoint Integration Engine includes the ability to natively exchange patient data encoded in the JSON format using REST-based web services. This capability, combined with Corepoint Integration Engine’s support of HL7 FHIR, allows customers to access and integrate patient-generated health data with personal devices such as wearables and smart phone applications.

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