EHR contracts contain gag clauses for software problems, concerns

Some of the biggest EHR vendors have gag clauses in their contracts that prevent their provider customers from sharing information about any software issues that could compromise patient safety.

Politico reviewed 11 contracts with major providers—including Epic, Allscripts, Cerner, Meditech and eClinicalWorks—from hospitals and health systems across three states. Ten of the 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," according to investigators. "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.