In Tom Sullivan’s terrific article on eClinicalWorks (Healthcare IT News, May 7th)—
the issues of information blocking and legal compliance bump right up against the long-debated question of whether one should obey the letter of the law (the literal interpretation of the words) or the spirit of the law (the actual intent of those who wrote the law).
According to the 21st Century Cure Act, for “interoperability” to be achieved—IT vendors must not engage in information blocking. Pretty simple concept, right? The “spirit” of the Cures Act is intended to protect patient safety by mandating the free flow of information across the continuum of care.
It seems to me a clear violation of the “spirit” of that law for IT vendors to:
Delay returning data in easily usable formats
Provide confusing or costly menus of information-return options, or
Prevent clients from transferring their data to another EHR software provider without penalties or service charges
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