The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has released a free, downloadable guide designed to assist providers who plan to acquire electronic health record (EHR) systems.

The guide, titled “EHR Contracts: Key Contract Terms for Users to Understand,” is intended to help buyers better understand critical EHR contract terms. As the report notes, “Understanding these terms may help you select an appropriate EHR system and protect your practice or organization from business and patient safety risks that may arise when you rely upon EHRs for critical aspects of your operations. It should help you make sure that your EHR system does what you expect and that you have ways to manage issues as they arise. If you misunderstand these terms you may not be able to rely on your contract to help prevent disruptions to your practice.”

The contract terms discussed in the 25-page guide are as follows:

  • Indemnification and hold harmless;
  • Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements;
  • Warranties and disclaimers;
  • Limitation of liability;
  • Dispute resolution;
  • Termination and wind down; and
  • Intellectual property disputes.

Each section explains what its term(s) mean and what EHR buyers and users need to know about how the term(s) may affect a contract.

To download the free guide, click here (pdf).