ONC names first two EHR certification bodies
The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) and the Drummond Group are the first to pass government muster as authorized to test and certify electronic health record systems to qualify for meaningful use incentives under the stimulus package. There are more to come.
The announcement by the Office of the National Coordinator of these Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ONC-ATCBs) means that EHR vendors can now begin to have their products certified as meeting criteria to support meaningful use, a key step in the national initiative to encourage adoption and effective use of EHRs by America's health care providers, ONC officials said.
"Less than two months following the issuance of final meaningful use rules, we have approved our initial ONC-ATCB certifiers. EHR vendors can begin immediately to get their products certified." said David Blumenthal, MD, national coordinator for Health Information Technology.
"This is a crucial step because it ensures that certified EHR products will be available to support the achievement of the required meaningful use objectives, that these products will be aligned with one another on key standards, and that doctors and hospitals can invest with confidence in these certified systems," he said.
Applications for additional ONC-ATCBs are also under review, Blumenthal said.
According to Rik Drummond, CEO of the Drummond Group, the company has been working diligently for many months to meet the stringent criteria set forth by ONC to become certified as an ONC-ATCB.
"We are pleased to offer over ten years of software testing and certification experience in other industries to Healthcare. 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," Drummond said. "The ONC accreditation is an acknowledgement that Drummond Group is fully qualified to meet the needs of EHR meaningful use stage one testing and certification. We highly commend the work of ONC and their accreditation process which tested the details of our testing and certification process and our industry knowledge."
"Having started new tests with other industries, we found this approval process to be the most demanding and the most thorough we have encountered. With our approval as an ONC-ATCB, EHR vendors and implementers can have full confidence in our testing and certification services, and we look forward to beginning testing with the many EHR software companies that have contacted us," Drummond said.
Karen M. Bell, MD, chair of CCHIT said CCHIT is gratified to be among the first organizations authorized to certify EHRs by ONC.