Earlier this year, the national coordinator for health IT petitioned Congress to help put an end to information blocking [1] to secure information exchange. This may beg the question, “What exactly is ‘information blocking’ and what does it mean for me?”

The Department of Health and Human Services defines information blocking as “when persons or entities knowingly and unreasonably interfere with the exchange or use of electronic health information. These practices undermine efforts to advance the use of information and technology to improve health and healthcare.”[2] In short, information blocking keeps healthcare professionals from putting EHR data to use.

In some cases information blocking is intentional, but quite often information gets trapped when healthcare leaders are cautious about sharing information with outside providers due to security and compliance concerns.  There will be an ever growing focus on interoperability between electronic health records, which will bring an end to information blocking. The ability to transform and manage information is the key to success in this new world of interoperability.

Here are top ways to prepare now for secure information exchange:

  • Take control by implementing secure solutions like multi-folder synchronization and embedded share links, which you can monitor from within your organization.
  • Cleanse your data of excess and duplicate information to prevent miscommunication and bolster information security, both within your organization and when information is traveling between EHRs.
  • Set up a patient portal so you can communicate with patients seamlessly and securely. Some patient portals will allow patients to directly control release of medical information, reducing staff involvement and increasing productivity. This will also help prepare you for an increase in patient-acquired data as wearable devices become more popular.
  • Join a secure interoperability network to support secure data sharing among a large group of healthcare delivery organizations in your region.

Today, only one-quarter of physicians report sharing patient health information electronically with outside providers.[3] The end of information blocking is here, and it’s time to get ready for secure information exchange.

To learn more about other healthcare trends impacting security and compliance, download this this complementary trend report.

Trend Report: Security and Compliance in the New World of Care

Prepare your healthcare organization for secure information exchange. Check out how to stay ahead of the security and compliance curve by downloading our free trend report today.

[1] http://fedscoop.com/onc-congress-needed-to-fight-health-info-blocking

[2] http://fedscoop.com/onc-congress-needed-to-fight-health-info-blocking

[3] http://dashboard.healthit.gov/report-to-congress/2015-update-adoption-health-information-technology-executive-summary.php