Information blocking—both by providers and vendors—is preventing the sharing of patients’ electronic health records and dashing any hope of realizing true EHR interoperability, according to witnesses who testified during a Senate health committee hearing on Thursday.

“When patients and providers have more convenient access to better health information, they are more equipped to make truly life-changing or even life-saving decisions,” Ranking Member Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) told the committee. However, Murray warned that the “practice of deliberate information blocking by some health IT organizations threatens to get in the way of progress we need to make to continue to improve our healthcare system.”

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