Software Vendor Faces HIPAA Fines for Data Extortion

Don’t let your software vendor hold your patient data hostage!

While our blog title today may border on hyperbole many clinics have felt trapped by their software vendor when it came time to really use their patient data.  Additionally, moving data from one system (say a practice management system) to another another system (say an EHR) may feel like the Tower of Babel revisited.

A number of standards and initiatives seek to address this ongoing dilemma.  CCHIT is addressing both data exchange & interoperability with CCD as a phased approach with an excellent long term vision.  HL7 provides a foundation for real-time interface exchange of patient data.  And XML provides data and data dictionary all in one location.

Now, how can you the provider avoid the perils of data extortion… right now?  Look to your contract with the vendor.  Do they guarantee your patient data in an industry standard format?  When and where you want the data? Even if you decide to replace them?  These questions can go a long way to protecting your patient data… Today.  Ask… no, insist on the right answers to the hard questions… before you sign.

Mark Holliday