ONC Looks to Test Stage 2 Clinical Quality Measures

ONC Commissions Cypress as Open Source Reporting Tool

Last week the ONC released specifications for the 2014 eCQMs finalized in Meaningful Use Stage 2 of the EHR incentive program. As part of reporting clinical quality measures for Stage 2 the ONC has commissioned development of an open source tool.

In a blog post on the Health IT Buzz website, ONC Senior Medical Officer Jesse C. James, MD writes “Our regulations define the criteria by which electronic health records are certified to capture, calculate, and report eCQMs. Under the regulations, certification testing can be through the use of open source software tools, including the Cypress eCQM testing platform. The process for submitting the Cypress tool for official approval in the ONC Certification Program is currently under way.”

The Cypress eCQM testing platform will be made freely available to vendors and testing laboratories.

The objective of Cypress is to:

Enable repeatable and rigorous testing of an EHR’s ability to accurately calculate Meaningful Use Stage 2 Eligible Provider (EP) and Eligible Hospital (EH) Clinical Quality Measures. Cypress has been submitted to ONC for approval as the official CQM testing tool for operational use in Meaningful Use Clinical Quality Measure certification. At this time, Cypress is not intended serve as a complete certification testing tool. Further instruction and guidance will be forthcoming from ONC once an approved full production version of Cypress is ready.

The CQM certification criteria addressed by Cypress may include:

  • Capability of EHR technology to create a data file that can be incorporated by another EHR technology which could be used to calculate CQMs
  • Capability of EHR technology to incorporate data (from other EHR technology where necessary) and correctly calculate the result for CQMs
  • Capability of EHR technology to create a standard data file that can be electronically accepted by Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS)

The ONC is scheduled to release alpha and beta versions of Cypress in November followed by installation by authorized testing labs in December with a program certification start date of January 2, 2013.