ONC offers guidance on health IT patent issues

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The certification criteria adopted for meaningful use of electronic health records conscientiously avoid prescriptive language, minimizing the likelihood that any one patented method or process will cover the implementation, officials at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology said in a blog post this week. For example, they said, “We believe the functionality in the ‘view, download and transmit to 3rd party’ EHR certification criterion could be accomplished in many ways and does not limit providers in their use of EHR technology and attempts to achieve meaningful use.” ONC invites public input on patents and other intellectual property as they relate to certified EHR technology via email at ONC.Policy@hhs.gov. “As matters of general interest arise, whether through comments received or otherwise, we intend to inform stakeholders through appropriate channels,” the officials said.

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