Electronic Health Records - Standards and Certification
The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT has promulgated regulations for HIT Standards and Certification that support meaningful use of EHRs.
HIT standards are the backbone of establishing an interoperable healthcare system. Standards enable the exchange of health are data and information. As such, they are identified, harmonized and then used to certify EHRs.
ONC has published regulations that identify the standards that support the meaningful use objectives and establish a national EHR certification program:
The Health IT Standards Committee is charged with making recommendations to ONC on standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for the electronic exchange and use of health information. AHIMA monitors the HIT Standards Committee and actively participates in a number of groups that are shaping the standards for EHRs.
On January 7, 2011, ONC launched the Standards and Interoperability Framework to address the interoperability challenges associated with meeting meaningful use objectives in 2011.
Certification helps to assure purchasers that systems have the needed functionality to support meaningful use. EHR systems and modules must be certified by an ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ATCB) in order to qualify for the meaningful use incentive payments.
A list of ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ATCBs) can be found here.
A current list of certified EHRs and EHR modules is available on the Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL).
In 2010, ONC released final regulations to establish the temporary certification program. In January 2011, the final rule for the permanent certification program was published.
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