Investigation reveals 'gag clauses' built into Epic, Cerner, Allscripts EHR contracts impact patient safety

It's worth reading the fine print on your organization's EHR contract, according to a POLITICO investigation that found some of the biggest EHR firms insert gag clauses into contracts that prevent providers from sharing information about hiccups and glitches that could compromise patient safety.

After obtaining 11 contracts with major providers — including Epic, Allscripts, Cerner, Meditech and eClinicalWorks — from hospitals and health systems across three states, investigators found 10 contracts contained clauses that could be enacted to prevent disclosure of large portions of information regarding provider use of the technology.

"Vendors say such restrictions target only breaches of intellectual property and are invoked rarely," the author wrote. "But doctors, researchers and members of Congress contend they stifle important discussions, including disclosures that problems exist. In some cases, they say, the software's faults can have lethal results, misleading doctors and nurses who rely upon it for critical information in life-or-death situations."

Read the full report here.

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