Cooperating for better care.

“gag orders”

Tag Archives

Peril to patients seen in EHR firms’ ‘gag clauses’



Politico reports that that some of the biggest electronic health record companies have inserted “gag clauses” in their taxpayer-subsidized contracts. These clauses effectively bar healthcare providers from “talking about glitches that slow their work and potentially jeopardize patients.”

The news service reports that “Vendors say such restrictions target only breaches of intellectual property and are invoked rarely. 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.”

The article says that the  Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which are responsible for the EHR subsidy program, have ”done little about the clauses, though providers and researchers have been grumbling about them since the 2011 Institute of Medicine report warning that ‘[t]hese types of contractual restrictions limit transparency, which significantly contributes to the gaps in knowledge of health IT–related patient safety risks.”’


Contact Info

(617) 230-4965

Wellesley, Mass