Ambler, PA – April 27, 2015 – While designed to aid healthcare professionals, the limitations of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) may occasionally hinder care, potentially putting patients at risk. So-called “information blocking,” which prevents caregivers from gaining timely access to patients’ electronic health records, has become a major concern of the U.S. government and the healthcare IT industry.
Information blocking occurs when groups knowingly and unreasonably interfere with the exchange or use of electronic health information. Though the practice is in clear disagreement with the objectives of the HITECH Act, which required adoption of EMRs by all healthcare providers, information blocking is prevalent. Currently, the economic environment incentivizes businesses to block access to electronic health information and thereby lock-out competition.
The resulting impact on healthcare can be dire. A report prepared by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in April 2015 stated that information blocking “negatively impacts many important aspects of health and health care.” In order to make informed decisions, care providers and patients must have timely access to information in a usable format. “When health information is unavailable, decisions can be impaired—and so too the safety, quality, and effectiveness of care provided to patients,” according to the ONC report.
Information blocking was a common theme during the April 2015 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference. Speakers described information blocking and its negative impact on healthcare. Keynote speaker, Andy Slavitt, Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), encouraged the audience to identify and report incidents of information blocking. Thus far, the ONC has had difficulty assessing the extent of data blocking because vendors often prohibit customers from discussing relevant details.
At HIMSS, Dick Moberg, President of Moberg ICU Solutions, took note of the common plea for more open and complete electronic health records. Moberg ICU Solutions has worked for decades to develop a platform that provides comprehensive, high-resolution, digital patient data in a usable format to healthcare providers. The platform, a medical device called the Component Neuromonitoring System (CNS), was designed to address many of the healthcare information deficiencies in the neuroscience ICU. With information blocking becoming increasingly problematic, alternatives and complements to the EMR offer caregivers a method for obtaining the information they need to make important decisions about patient care.
Moberg ICU Solutions (Moberg Research, Inc.) is a privately owned medical device manufacturing company specializing in neurological patient monitoring solutions for acute care. Moberg Research, Inc. was founded in 1998 and is located in Ambler, PA in the greater Philadelphia area. For more information visit www.moberg.com.