Identifying Certified EHR Technology Seals

Round Up of Certified EHR Technology Seals

If you know anything about the US government, you know they have a law, policy, or a guideline on anything they do. Take for example the seal of the HHS department. They have all you ever wanted to know about the seal on their web site. Or how about the official seal for the ARRA. If you are going to use it in print you had better read the guidelines, it is a four page document. And the official seals for the President, VP, Senate, and House of Reps have laws (US Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 33, Sec 713) for their use.

So what’s up with all these “ONC-ATCB Certified Technology” seals? If something is “certified” shouldn’t there be only one seal of approval? This is the “official” seal from the ONC for certified EHR products. And despite my best efforts, I cannot find a policy, a document, or get a return email from the ONC on what this seal is all about. And in addition to that, not all ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ONC-ATCB) even use it. So here is what I can come up with on all these seals.

There are currently six ONC-ATCBs. Two, CCHIT and SLI Global Solutions, actually use the “official” seal. If you go to a web site of an EHR product that has been certified by either of these labs you will see the official seal. The other four labs, Drummond Group, InfoGrard, ICSA Labs, and Surescripts, have designed their own seals. Surescripts has the capacity to certify Electronic Health Record (EHR) Modules for electronic prescribing, you will often see this seal with another seal.

And if these aren’t enough seals for you, it appears that EHR vendors are designing unique seals for their products. Here are several I have found so far.

There is something to be said about a recognizable seal that means something. If you see this seal on a product do you know what it means? I will let you know if I ever hear back from the ONC.

For updated information and corrections on this information please read my follow-up post, More on Official Certification Seals.