athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: ATHN), a leading provider of cloud-based electronic health record ( EHR), practice management, and care coordination services to medical groups and health systems, today proposed a Health Information Technology (HIT) ‘Code of Conduct’ that calls upon the health information industry, particularly electronic health record (EHR) vendors, to abide by five principles related to data portability, patient safety, provider freedom of choice, and Meaningful Use.
The HIT Code of Conduct responds to recent statements by National Coordinator for Health IT, Dr. Farzad Mostashari, who has challenged the industry (HIT vendors) to “step up” and agree to a Code of Conduct that sets forth principles to protect patients, guard against fraud, and empower HIT to finally realize its potential to revolutionize health care. Motivated by the challenge, athenahealth has outlined a framework that its peer vendors can sign on to, and other industry stakeholders can sign up in support of, and today launched an online portal to gather online “signatures.” The five principles HIT vendors are being challenged to adhere to are:
- Empower Data Portability and Provider Choice
- Build a True Nationwide Information Backbone
- Protect Patients
- Prevent Fraud
- Drive Meaningful Use
“The HIT Code of Conduct is a call to the industry to abide by a uniform set of high standards that providers should expect and demand as they invest in technology and services as a means to improve care delivery,” said Jonathan Bush, CEO and Chairman of athenahealth. “These are things we’ve committed to do for our clients—things that we believe our industry must do if HIT is going to join the 21st century and finally realize its potential to transform healthcare.”