5 health IT key notes: Biggest EHR vendor stories of 2015; DOD contract modifications; searchable HIPAA violation database launches; new data breaches

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Here are five recent health IT updates to know.

1. A single modification has been issued to the contract the federal government awarded Cerner, Leidos and Accenture to overhaul the Department of Defense's records. Cerner is now permitted to store the data of the more than 10 million individuals affected by the records changeover in its own data centers, rather than federal data centers. Read more

2. We've highlighted the seven biggest stories involving Epic this year, including the EHR vendor's partnership with Walgreens, the ramifications of some of its costly implementations and an inside look at the company's culture. Read more

3. It was also a banner year for Cerner, which announced its highest-ever profits and won the bid for the history-making DOD EHR modernization contract. We collected the six biggest stories relating to the EHR vendor here.

4. ProPublica launched its HIPAA Helper database, which enables users to search healthcare facilities, providers or payers, and reveals any data breaches, HIPAA violations or privacy complaints they may have incurred. The data is aggregated from HHS' Office for Civil Rights, the California Department of Public Health and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. We've collected information on the top 10 repeat offenders here.

5. In data breach news, two providers who should have shredded sensitive documents accidentally did not. The Tallahassee, Fla.-based Old Agency for Health Care Administration reported a possible breach when records were mistakenly emptied into a dumpster and sent to a landfill intact; and Allina Health alerted more than 6,000 patients whose records also were tossed without being destroyed first.

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