NextGen just announced it will be adopting a new developer code of conduct, a code that was developed by by EHR Association (EHRA,) a collaboration of over 40 EHR companies.
According to News Medical , the Code of Conduct is meant to, “to improve care, increase efficiencies, enhance patient safety and provide better outcomes.” These are all good things in my book, and I’m really excited that NextGen is taking this step. I really believe this will help improve the industry overall because these companies are making a promise to everyone, doctors and patients alike, that they will will abide by these principles.
The Code of Conduct focuses on these areas:
- General business practices
- Patient safety
- Interoperability and data portability
- Clinical and billing documentation
- Privacy and security
- Patient engagement
So, what’s in this new code? Here are the principles, which I’ve taken from the full Code of Conduct by the EHRA, which you can see here.
EHRA Code of Conduct
1. Our business practices will emphasize accurate communication about the functionality and
benefits of our products and services.
Recognizing that patient safety is a shared responsibility among all stakeholders in an increasingly health IT-enabled, learning healthcare system:
1. We are committed to product design, development, and deployment in support of patient safety.
2. We will utilize such approaches as quality management systems (QMS) and user-centered design methodologies, and use recognized standards and guidelines.
3. We will participate with one or more Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs) (and/or other
recognized bodies) in reporting, review, and analyses of health IT-related patient safety events.
4. The exact nature, extent, and timing of our participation will depend on the outcome of current industry and policy discussions; such factors as legislative, regulatory changes, or agency guidance; the availability of the appropriate recognized organizations; development of standardized definitions for safety events; and other implementation factors. This work will require close collaboration with our customers.
5. We will share best practices with our customers for safe deployment, implementation,
maintenance, and use of our products.
6. We will notify our customers should we identify or become aware of a software issue that could materially affect patient safety, and offer solutions.
7. We recognize the value of our customers’ participation in discussions about patient safety. We will not contractually limit our customers from discussing patient safety issues in appropriate venues. In applying this policy, we will maintain fair and reasonable intellectual property protections.
Interoperability and Data Portability
Recognizing that data should follow the patient:
1. We will enable our customers to exchange clinical information with other parties, including those using other EHR systems, through standards-based technology, to the greatest extent possible.
2. We will use available, recognized, and nationally uniform standards to the greatest extent
possible in developing interfaces.
3. As customers implement interfaces and work to achieve interoperability, we will share best practices with them about the safe deployment, implementation, and use of the supporting tools and technologies.
4. We will work with our customers to facilitate the export of patient data if a customer chooses to move from one EHR to another. We will enable, at a minimum, the export of one or more standards-based clinical summary formats such as CCD/CCDA (or the then-current equivalent) for all patients.
See the Full Code
Again, this is only a portion of the EHRA’s new Code of Conduct. You can see the full contract here.
I applaud every EHR developer who has adopted this new code of conduct, and urge those who haven’t to hop on board. I also applaud the EHRA for developing these best practices; I think they will really help guide developer decisions and hopefully make the industry safer and more accountable.