The lawsuit contends that the defendants, including UroChart, obtained “access to meridianEMR’s data” and placed “patients in meridianEMR’s system at risk” and that the defendants, including UroChart, “have and have had unlawful access to patient information in violation of patient privacy rights.” In fact, meridianEMR’s complaint alleged that UroChart’s conduct was “willful and intentional with malice” and in violation of New Jersey’s Computer Related Offenses Act, among other claims.
Leading Urology EHR Company Committed to Protecting Patient Records and Its Proprietary Technology
meridianEMR®, the Livingston, New Jersey-based market leader in Electronic Health Records (EHR) for Urology, formally announces that on June 16, 2011 it filed a lawsuit against Intuitive Medical Software® (UroChart®), based in Springfield, Missouri. meridianEMR filed its suit in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey. The lawsuit contends that the defendants, including UroChart, obtained “access to meridianEMR’s data” and placed “patients in meridianEMR’s system at risk” and that the defendants, including UroChart, “have and have had unlawful access to patient information in violation of patient privacy rights.” In fact, meridianEMR’s complaint alleged that UroChart’s conduct was “willful and intentional with malice” and in violation of New Jersey’s Computer Related Offenses Act, among other claims.
The issue came to light when meridianEMR’s Advanced Monitoring System instantly detected certain copying activities on a practice’s meridianEMR server. This system is one part of the security measures that meridianEMR provides to help protect patient data. meridianEMR responded immediately by contacting the practice. Further investigation resulted in the lawsuit, currently underway, in which the court on June 16, 2011 entered a Temporary Restraining Order against UroChart.
As part of its strong relationships with its clients, meridianEMR shares the responsibility of caring for patients’ Protected Health Information (PHI) in accordance with HIPAA regulations. meridianEMR filed the lawsuit as part of this responsibility. “It is our opinion that the actions taken by UroChart at one of our client sites could constitute a major threat to patient data security,” said Michael J. Custode, CEO, meridianEMR. “We filed a lawsuit against UroChart to, among other things, restrain such conduct.”
A “clone” server was referenced throughout the court documents. When questioned under oath as to whether “meridian software was on that clone server,” Richard Kroutil, Director of Technical Services, UroChart testified, “It was an exact replica of the meridian server.” According to a court transcript of the legal proceedings on July 21, 2011, the Honorable William J. Martini in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey stated, “You have a right to protect your software content and your software program,” and that “The law says you’re not supposed to take another competitor’s trade secrets.”
“I have been in the EMR/PM industry for over 30 years and have never heard of a competitor directly copying another vendor’s software and entire system,” said Larry G. Drappi, EVP of Sales and Marketing, meridianEMR. “In my opinion, these are egregious actions.” meridianEMR always takes the protection of patient data extremely seriously. This is at the forefront of its concerns and is among the issues that prompted legal action. “In light of these recent events, we would also like to reassure our customer base that this lawsuit does not affect the privacy of their patient data, which remains secure,” stated Drappi. “One of the best ways to protect your patient records is to never, under any circumstances, provide anyone with your meridianEMR server password,” added Custode.
“meridianEMR adheres to best practices that are followed by all leading EHR companies,” said Custode. “As part of the principled way in which we conduct our business, we will work with our clients to ensure the privacy and ethical transfer of patient information whenever necessary, in adherence to industry best practices and in compliance with the law.”
meridianEMR is the market leader in EHR for Urology, offering an interoperable solution compatible with physician practice management systems and advanced healthcare analytics. The meridianEMR, Inc. application is ONC-ATCB certified as a complete EHR, CCHIT certified® until 2014, and Surescripts certified. The interoperability of the meridianEMR software is driven by the proprietary mXchange™ technology, which services all meridianEMR clients through a private, highly secure, real-time data exchange network. meridianEMR has a user base of over 1,000 practicing Urologists nationwide comprised of a wide range of practice sizes.
Current meridianEMR Metrics:
- 1,000+ Urology providers
- 12,500 Urology staff users
- 15 million mXchange transactions per day
- 1.5 million active Urology patients
- 50,000 e-scripts per month