Epic, Cerner, MEDITECH & dozens more make interoperability pledge at HIMSS16: 5 things to know

HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell made a big announcement about interoperability during HIMSS16: the Interoperability Pledge. The new initiative presents healthcare providers with three core commitments, and already some of health IT's biggest names are joining the cause.

Here are five things to know.

1. The pledge puts forth three main principles:

•    Consumer access. Help consumers securely and easily access their electronic health information.
•    Transparency. Do not block electronic health information and help providers share individuals' health information with one another.
•    Standards. Implement national, federally recognized interoperability practices.
2. The pledge has already rallied support from 90 percent of the vendors providing the EHRs used in hospitals, health systems with locations in 46 states and more than a dozen provider, technology and consumer organizations.

3. Big names amongst the vendor pledges include Allscripts, athenahealth, Cerner, Epic, McKesson and MEDITECH.

4. There are also a number of big health systems on board. Geisinger Health System, based in Danville, Pa.; Hospital Corporation of America, based in Nashville, Tenn.; Kaiser Permanente, based in Oakland, Calif.; Partners Healthcare, based in Boston, and Tenet Healthcare, based in Dallas, are just a few names amongst many.

5. The American Medical Association, CHIME, Commonwell, HIMSS, The Sequoia Project and more are amongst the more than a dozen healthcare organizations signing up.

Click here to view the full list of pledges.

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