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HHS Unveils Strategy to Reduce EHR Burden for Clinicians


February 27, 2020

By John Commins

The federal government has released its long-awaited plan to reduce red tape and other administration snarls that create time-eating obstacles for doctors using health information technology.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs, mandated by the 21st Century Cures Act, aims to reduce the effort and time required by clinicians to meet reporting requirements, record health information, and improve the functionality and intuitiveness of EHRs.

“We received feedback from hundreds of organizations and healthcare providers on this new burden-reduction strategy, and the input made clear that there are plenty of steps still necessary to make IT more usable for providers and maximize the promise of electronic health records,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a media release.

The final report, the end product of a draft, issued in November 2018, was led by the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and includes input from the more than 200 comments.

“The taxpayers made a massive investment in EHRs with the expectation that it would solve the many issues that plagued paper-bound health records,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said.

“Unfortunately – as this report shows – in all too many cases, the cure has been worse than the disease,” Verma said. “Twenty years into the 21st century, it’s unacceptable that the application of Health IT still struggles to provide ready access to medical records – access that might mean the difference between life and death. The report’s recommendations provide valuable guidance on how to minimize EHR burden as we seek to fulfill the promise of an interoperable health system.”

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.

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