EHRA Announces Version 2 of the EHR Developer Code of Conduct

EHRA logoThe Electronic Health Record Association (@EHRAssociationannounced the release of Version 2 of the EHR Developer Code of Conduct is being made available to the health IT industry following unanimous approval by the Association’s member companies earlier this month. The Code, a transparent set of industry principles that reflect a commitment to safe healthcare delivery, continued innovation, and high integrity, was developed by the Association and first introduced in June 2013. This revision is the result of a collaborative effort of EHR Association members, many of whom have adopted the Code, along with several stakeholder groups that provided feedback during the update process.

Leigh Burchell, Association Chair and Vice President for Health Policy and Government Affairs at Allscripts, said, “We are very encouraged that the Code has gained wide recognition among EHR developers, as well as the broader industry, including provider organizations and policymakers. Their feedback was important as we looked at how the health IT industry has evolved since the Code was released in 2013 and what changes should be considered.”

The EHR Association consulted with key stakeholder groups during the work to update the Code. Shari M. Erickson, MPH, Vice President, Governmental Affairs and Medical Practice at the American College of Physicians (ACP), said, “The American College of Physicians appreciates that the EHR Association came to us for feedback on the new version of the EHR Developer Code of Conduct, as they did when they were working on the first version in 2013. The changes that have been made in Version 2 reflect the ongoing evolution of health IT, and offer improved transparency for physicians and other clinicians who use health IT in clinical settings.”

Russell P. Branzell, CHCIO, LCHIME, President and CEO, Center for Health Information Management Executives (CHIME) expressed CHIME’s support for the new version of the Code. “CHIME applauds the Electronic Health Record Association for updating its EHR Developer Code of Conduct. The revisions reflect the rapid changes we are seeing across the industry since the Code was first released in 2013. The amended Code reflects the growing demand for increased transparency, security, and usability of health IT systems. We are also encouraged that the revisions recognize the urgent need to adopt standards and achieve true interoperability. We must work collaboratively across the industry to realize the potential for health information technology to transform healthcare.”

Major changes in Version 2 of the Code include a new section on usability that reflects the critical importance of this topic, elaborates on the role of user-centered design (UCD) and usability best practices, and provides examples of how adopters of the Code might involve their clients in those activities.

The section on interoperability and data sharing was also updated to add greater clarity on provisions regarding transparency to companies’ clients on pricing models, including components related to achieving interoperability. The Association also reiterated its strong commitment to standards-based, cost efficient information exchange where it is valuable to the healthcare provider and/or the patient, and highlighted its opposition to data blocking.

Burchell went on to add, “We also expanded the sections of the Code on patient engagement and privacy and security. Adopters of the Code recognize that product development is an area where EHR developers can increasingly consider patients’ needs as they become more involved in managing their own care and that of their families. Privacy and security is a tremendously important topic on which our member companies provide critical support and education to their clients, and we expanded this section to reflect the commitment to best practices in this area.”

The Code of Conduct also covers general business practices, patient safety, and clinical and billing documentation. The Association will continue to encourage adoption of the EHR Developer Code of Conduct by all companies that develop EHR technology, regardless of whether they are members of the EHR Association. Information on the Code can be obtained by contacting or at this website.

About the EHR Association
Established in 2004, the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Association is comprised of over 30 companies that supply the vast majority of operational EHRs to physicians’ practices and hospitals across the United States in addition to other forms of health IT designed to support the nation’s delivery system reform initiatives. The EHR Association operates on the premise that the rapid, widespread adoption of health IT will help improve the quality of patient care as well as the productivity and sustainability of the healthcare system as a key enabler of healthcare transformation. The EHR Association and its members are committed to supporting safe healthcare delivery, fostering continued innovation, and operating with high integrity in the market for our users and their patients and families.

The EHR Association is a partner of HIMSS. For more information, visit this website.