Seventeen companies that make an estimated 90% of the electronic health record products used by hospitals have pledged to help providers share health information for care whenever permitted by law, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced yesterday. They also pledged to implement federally recognized, national interoperability standards, policies, guidance and practices and to help consumers securely access their electronic health information. A number of national hospital, physician and health information organizations also pledged their support for the interoperability principles, including the AHA and some of the nation’s largest health care systems. “Achieving a seamless flow of health information to support care and engage patients will require action from all stakeholders, including vendors, providers and policymakers,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “Hospitals need the technology of their IT systems to communicate effectively, without having to deploy expensive and cumbersome patches and partial solutions.” The announcement was made at the Health Information Management Systems Society conference in Las Vegas.

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