ONC Rejects Claims Questioning Future Of EHR Certification

Kyle Murphy | EHR Intelligence | November 17, 2014

EHR certification at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is alive and well despite recent regulatory and organizational developments that might indicate otherwise, claims the recently appointed head of the Health IT Certification Program.  “We’re not closing our doors. It’s not uncertain to us what our future is. There will continue to be a need for products to be certified for specific standards or functionalities and those are brought to our attention through many various attitudes — the FACA committees, public comment,” Captain Alicia Morton, DNP, RN-BC, tells EHRIntelligence.com.

“We still do have three certification bodies and five testing labs without CCHIT’s engagement at this point,” she emphasizes. “We anticipate continued future rulemaking around what products need to have in there to meet minimum conformance criteria.”
Those comments are in direct response to the recent shuttering of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) as both an ONC-authorized certification and testing body and an organization as a whole. For some, the demise of CCHIT raised doubts (about the EHR certification program and its future relevance.
According to Morton, the ONC’s certification still has an important role to play in ensuring that healthcare organizations and providers have access to trusted health IT tools. But first there is need to set the record straight about what is and what is not the ONC’s responsibility with respect to EHR technology, beginning with meaningful use...