EHRA and Public Health: Two-Way Communication in the Age of COVID-19

How EHRA’s COVID-19 Task Force is Supporting Providers and Public Health Agencies During the Pandemic

By Hans Buitendijk and David Bucciferro
EHR Association Chair and Vice Chair

Every organization in healthcare and public health has been prioritizing COVID-19 response, and the EHR Association is no exception. Our COVID-19 Task Force, created in the spring, continues to demonstrate its value to EHRA members and our provider and public health partners. From data collection to preparing for vaccines, EHRs play an important role in America’s response to the pandemic.  

In a recent interview for HIMSS TV, we explained that by creating a task force, we’re able to bring in a broad spectrum of individuals and knowledge from EHRA member companies – people who may not ordinarily actively participate in the Association, but who have specific interest and expertise in a topic. For instance, we stood up an Opioid Crisis Task Force in 2018 that is still active.  

The COVID-19 Task Force is focusing its energies around connecting EHRA members with the latest information. Our aim is to enable EHR developers to identify solutions to data collection challenges, and work with public health agencies to implement the most practical, efficient methods to meet their data requirements. We’ve expanded existing collaborations with federal and state agencies such as CMS and ONC, and developed new relationships, including with CDC and the HHS CIO. In a crisis like the pandemic, clear communication is vital. The Task Force has been able to share with government agencies what works and what doesn’t work for our member companies’ EHR products, and we’re also able to relay to our members public health planning and data needs. 

In a recent blog post, we highlighted key areas of focus that we, the healthcare community, need to address to improve how the U.S. is responding to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how we can be better prepared for future health crises. 

It’s been gratifying to build these relationships, and we look forward to continuing to communicate on behalf of our members. 

Watch EHR Association Enables Vendor Collaboration for Pandemic Public Health Reporting on HIMSS TV, and read our blog here.

For COVID-19 resources for health IT developers and other stakeholders, click here.

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