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GAO finds gaps in electronic health records program

Mar. 12, 2014 - 03:51PM   |  
By NICOLE BLAKE JOHNSON   |   Comments

Under the Health and Human Service’s incentive payments program, adoption of electronic health records has increased. But the lack of a comprehensive strategy for ensuring EHR data can be reliably used to measure quality of care is raising concerns.

A recent Government Accountability Office report is recommending that HHS develop a comprehensive strategy for ensuring quality data is collected by healthcare providers.

“Reliability issues persist, although Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) have made efforts to address concerns,” according to the GAO report.

One concern is that different health providers may report clinical data using different requirements, based on whether their systems have incorporated technical updates or not. That clinical data could be used by HHS to improve patient care.

“Without a comprehensive strategy, efforts to address reliability issues... and improve quality and efficiency may be limited,” the report said.

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