Why hospitals are dragging their feet when it comes to data sharing

Only 42 percent of hospitals reported that they observed their organization practicing information blocking in 2021, according to a April 5 survey from the HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

The survey, published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, analyzed 2,092 nonfederal acute care hospitals in the U.S. about whether they observed information blocking and found the following:

  • Twenty percent of hospitals said their IT developers engaged in information blocking.

  • Thirty-six percent reported that healthcare providers participated in information blocking. 

  • Seventeen percent reported that their EHR vendors participated in data-sharing.

  • Nineteen percent of respondents said they believed health information exchanges engaged in information blocking.

  • For-profit hospitals were nearly three times more likely to report experiencing information blocking from other healthcare providers than nonprofit hospitals.

This data comes shortly after the Department of Health and Human Services barred healthcare organizations from withholding patients' medical records, and banned information blocking in October 2022.

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