News Feature | August 9, 2014

Healthcare IT News For VARs — August 8, 2014

By Megan Williams, contributing writer

Healthcare Data

In this week’s news, California releases patient data to the public, and Cerner buys out Siemens EHR.

California Exchange Set To Share 9 Million Records Online

The California Integrated Data Exchange announced its plans on Tuesday to develop and launch a statewide health information exchange (HIE) that would use advanced technology to create new connections between healthcare providers. The project would result in one of the nation’s largest online repositories of EHR data, and would involve nearly one quarter of the state’s population. The de-identified data, according to ComputerWorld, would allow entities like academic research institutions to use it for research, including population health initiatives.

Federal Advisers Concerned About ONC’s Interoperability Vision

Committee members of the Office Of The National Coordinator For Health IT raised concerns about the scope of the agency’s interoperability road map being too broad during a virtual meeting of their health IT policy committee on August 6. According to Fierce Health IT, Exchange Portfolio Manager, Erica Galvez said that the ONC has adopted the Institute Of Electrical And Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) definition of interoperability, but other committee members believe it might not be realistic. 

Cerner Buys Siemens EHR, Declares Post-MU Era

InformationWeek announced EHR giant, Cerner plans to spend $1.3 billion to acquire Siemen’s health IT business and that it will continue to support both EHR systems as a part of their broader population health strategy. Some details of the transaction are still being worked out, but it is expected to finalize in early 2015. Support for Siemen’s Soarian Clinicals will remain available worldwide for at least a decade. The company expects to see a large growth in its customer base, R&D resources, and abilities in addressing the issues of population health management as a result of the acquisition.  

Infographic: The State Of EHR

NextGov has released an infographic detailing the state of EHR use among physicians. The chart reflects the growth in EHR use, as well as general results of improved care. It also covers physician intent, the level of sophistication of the EHR system used by physicians, and factors to which growth in EHR use can be attributed to overall. Source information comes from, maintained by the Office Of The National Coordinator For Health information Technology.

New VA Head Targets Interoperability And Efficiency

Robert McDonald, former Procter & Gamble CEO, will be taking the place of General Eric Shinseki as Secretary Of Veterans affairs. The former executive was voted in with the unanimous support of the US Senate and has emphasized the need for ensuring interoperability between EHR and health IT systems at the VA and the Department of Defense. Read more at EHR Intelligence.

Healthcare IT Talking Points

While the implementation of ICD-10 has been met with skepticism on multiple fronts, ranging from the IT community to the AMA itself, the new October 1, 2015 deadline does hold some promise. Unlike the previous deadline, for which it took CMS months to acknowledge the need for end-to-end testing, the agency has already started soliciting volunteers this time around. Read more at Fierce Health IT.

For more news and insights, visit BSMinfo’s Healthcare IT Resource Center.