ONC issues IFR to fix EHR Specification Errors

A new IFR with a request for comment was issued by the ONC and published in the federal register on October 13. The rule was also effective on the 13th. The rule will correct the errors in the Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for EHR Technology; Final Rule published on July 28, 2010. Apparently the that Rule adopted two content exchange standards for electronic submission to public health agencies for surveillance and reporting, Health Level Seven (HL7) versions 2.3.1 and 2.5.1. The new rule will eliminate the two technical guides because they did not include the technical descriptions to enable electronic health records to exchange symptom surveillance data.

The admitting of error and need for change came about after review and consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The specifications were not designed for EHR users, but to guide public health agencies on how to report to the CDC.

The comment period will end on November 12, 2010. Comments can be submitted and reviewed online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov.