EHR Developer Code of Conduct

Established in 2004, the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Association (the Association) is comprised of companies that supply the vast majority of operational EHRs to physicians’ practices and hospitals across the United States. The EHR Association operates on the premise that the rapid, widespread adoption of EHRs will, as a key enabler of healthcare transformation, help improve the quality of patient care as well as the productivity and sustainability of our healthcare system.

Recognizing the transformative power of health IT, we put forward the initial version of the EHR Developer Code of Conduct in June 2013 as a reflection of our industry’s ongoing commitment to collaborate as trusted partners with all stakeholders, and we then published a revised edition of the Code of Conduct in March 2016. The Association is the primary organization through which EHR developers collaborate on industry issues, and we are pleased to offer this Code of Conduct as a sign of our commitment to best practices in a wide variety of areas.

The EHR Developer Code of Conduct applies to EHR developers, which might be stand-alone companies or divisions or business units of companies with other non-EHR lines of business. As we are mindful of the laws and regulations that affect our clients, as well as the important role of health IT in their environments, the Code is intended to complement related government actions, not supersede or duplicate them.

The EHR Association’s members have a long tradition of working with our customers to improve care, increase efficiencies, enhance patient safety, and provide better outcomes. In this context, the Association and its member companies recognize the importance to all stakeholders of promoting a set of transparent industry principles that reflect our continued commitment to support safe healthcare delivery, recognize the value and impact that EHRs have for patients and families, foster continued innovation, and operate with high integrity in the market.

The EHR Association offers this Code of Conduct to all organizations that develop EHR systems or functionality, regardless of Association membership. Recognizing that every company has different business models and practices, companies that adopt the Code will be responsible for determining the applicability of the Code to their own business, evaluating whether the Code’s principles are relevant. Adoption of the Code means that the company is committed to all of its principles and has completed or is in the process of implementing the practices needed to apply these principles within the company.

The EHR Developer Code of Conduct focuses on:

  1. General business practices
  2. Patient safety
  3. Usability
  4. Interoperability and data portability
  5. Clinical and billing documentation
  6. Privacy and security
  7. Patient engagement

The Code was developed and revised by the EHR Association through engagement with stakeholders representing government, health care provider associations, and consumers. In the future, the EHR Association will periodically review the Code and make updates as needed. The Association also provides implementation guidance and the information needed for EHR developers to adopt the Code.

Comments or questions regarding the EHR Developer Code of Conduct should be directed to ehrcodeofconduct@himss.org.

We've been very pleased with the validation of the Code of Conduct that we've received from other industry organizations, both government and private sector. This recognition is important because our members take the Code very seriously as a reflection of their commitment to operate with the greatest integrity every day and partner successfully with their clients.

- Leigh Burchell, Allscripts and EHR Association Chair