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Breaking news: HITPC approves Certification Recommendations

Posted Aug 14 2009 5:30pm

Link: HIT Policy Committee approves Certification Recommendations

According to Health Data Management, the HIT Policy Committee announced today that multiple entities could provide certification services that attest an electronic health records system meets meaningful use requirements under ARRA.

Quotefirebrick Under the adopted recommendations from the policy committee's Certification/Adoption Workgroup:

  • Multiple organizations should be allowed to perform HHS-approved certification testing using identical criteria;
  • The process of defining certification criteria should be performed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and separated from organizations that provide certification testing;
  • ONC should develop an accreditation process and select organizations to accredit certifying organizations.
  • The National Institute for Standards and Technologies should play a major role in determining who should conduct certification and how the accreditation body should be established.
  • Vendors would need to get certification from only one approved certifying entity,
  • Certification criteria should occur no more frequently than once a year and certification would last for four years;
  • The process for obtaining certification also should enable qualifying for Stark exceptions that enable organizations to subsidize the cost of EHRs for physicians. It would not be necessary to get two certifications;
  • "Lock down" requirements of EHR software should be eliminated to address concerns of the open source community; and
  • An alternate certification process, based on a site inspection, could be developed for organizations using self-developed software.

The proposed Definition of HHS Certification in the HIT Policy Committee-adopted recommendations is:

"HHS Certification means that a system is able to achieve the minimum government requirements for security, privacy and interoperability, and that the system is able to support the achievement of Meaningful Use results that the government expects."Unquotefirebrick

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