CCHIT launches ONC-ATCB certification program

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology launched its ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB) certification program for electronic health records Monday.

The program will certify that EHRs are capable of meeting the 2011/2012 criteria to support Stage 1 meaningful use as required by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and qualify eligible providers and hospitals for funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Officials say CCHIT's first group of ONC-ATCB Certified 2011/2012 EHRs will be announced in the coming weeks.

The certification will be offered for complete EHRs that meet all of the HHS 2010/2011 criteria and EHR modules that meet one or more – but not all – of the criteria.

Certification applications and an additional "Get ONC-ATCB Certified 2011/2012 Toolkit" designed to help prepare health IT companies and developers for this new certification are available here.

CCHIT – along with the Drummond Group and InfoGard Laboratories, Inc. – is one of the three organizations currently recognized by ONC as ATCBs.

"CCHIT originated EHR certification and has tested and certified hundreds of EHRs," said Karen M. Bell, MD, chair, CCHIT. "This know-how enables us to accommodate the separate purposes of certifying EHR technology for eligible providers and hospitals in accordance with the HHS certification criteria, and provide additional assurance of an EHR's functions, interoperability and security through our independently developed programs. We have ramped up our testing capacity for the launch of this new program and are prepared to offer testing dates during September to early applicants who are well-prepared for testing."