First Entities Authorized to Certify EHRs

Yesterday the ONC announced the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) and the Drummond Group Inc. are the first entities authorized to certify EHR technology. The ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ONC-ATCB) are a part of the whole EHR adoption initiative under the HITECH Act. Eligible Professionals and Eligible Hospitals will be able to receive incentive money though CMS for adopting and meaningful using certified EHR technology.

CCHIT is based in Chicago and has been certifying EHRs since 2006. No one should be surprised their application was successful and they were selected. Chair of CCHIT Karen M. Bell, MD, MMS said in their press release, “As the originator of EHR certification, CCHIT has tested and certified hundreds of EHRs. Our experience has enabled us to promptly adapt our processes to accommodate the certification and standards adopted by HHS to support the meaningful use of EHRs by healthcare providers.” The expected launch date for their authorized certification program is September 20.

The Drummond Group is based in Austin and is an interoperability and software test lab founded in 1999. Also not a surprise as an ATCB selection as they have been visibly showing their interest for some time now. CEO Rik Drummond stated in their press release that “after executing several pilots on existing EHR products and working with industry consultants, our organization is more than prepared to test and certify healthcare products.”

With the initial two ATCBs open for business, vendors can now apply for product certification taking us all one step closer to actual incentive payments. The ONC also stated that they are continuing to review applications for additional ONC-ATCBs. No date was given when these would be named. The ONC will keep a Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL) of all certified EHR products and their criteria certification. Visit the ONC Certification Programs page for more information.