Health IT Roundup—Cerner to advise VA; Hospital board balks at $62M price tag for Epic EHR contract

Doc computer
Cerner has formed an advisory group for its work with the Department of Veterans Affairs, plus more healthcare tech news.

Cerner creates advisory group for its work with VA

Cerner has announced that it would create an advisory group to provide insights and recommendations as part of its work with the Department of Veterans Affairs on the Electronic Health Record Modernization (EHRM). The group will include former government, military and private sector leaders with an interest in veterans’ healthcare. (Announcement)

OCR launches HIPAA resource

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has created the “Get It. Check It. Use It.” resource for patients to better understand how to use and access their healthcare records under the Health Insurance Portability and Accoutability Act (HIPAA). The resources also offers brochures and posters providers can use to educate patients on their rights. (Resource)

University of Illinois trustees call savings in hospital IT upgrade into question

The University of Illinois is mulling a $100 million, seven-year health technology upgrade at its Chicago hospital, but members of the board of trustees were reportedly "stunned" by the $62 million cost of a contract with EHR vendor Epic. Administrators at the hospital say that the upgrades will simplify billing and allow clinicians easier access to patient records. But one trustee, Edward McMillan, frets the system will be "obsolete" before the hospital finishes paying the bill. (The News-Gazette)

HHS report: Majority of skilled nursing facilities use EHR

HHS released a report on key measures on EHR adoption and interoperability from a 2016 nationally representative sample of skilled nursing facilities. A majority (64%) use an electronic health record, and nearly one-fifth (18%) use both an EHR and a state or regional health information organization, which allows them to transmit data more quickly. (ONC Report) (PDF)

ASHP survey: Most U.S. hospitals use tech to improve medication use

A survey from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists found that nearly 100% of U.S. hospitals have implemented some kind of technology to improve medication use, like through an electronic health record or using a computerized prescriber-order-entry (CPOE) system. The survey also found that 99% of U.S. hospitals use EHRs, compared with about 31% in 2003. (Announcement)

OCR director names enforcement priorities

Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, said that his top HIPAA enforcement priority for the coming year is to find a “big, juicy, egregious” breach that can be used as an example for others to learn from. He said at the 10th annual Safeguarding Health Information HIPAA conference that the OCR needs to balance its law enforcement and educational aspects to best protect patients’ data. (HealthcareInfoSecurity)