ONC team lays out transition to permanent EHR certification program

With the Stage 2 meaningful use proposed rule still waiting in the wings, the certification team from ONC addressed HIMSS12 attendees Wednesday morning, delivering details on the agency’s efforts to move toward a permanent certification program for EHRs.

Steven Posnack, director of ONC’s Federal Policy Division, was notably absent from the presentation, presumably occupied with shaping the Stage 2 proposed rule into releasable form.

With the Stage 2 meaningful use proposed rule still waiting in the wings, the certification team from ONC addressed HIMSS12 attendees Wednesday morning, delivering details on the agency’s efforts to move toward a permanent certification program for EHRs.

Steven Posnack, director of ONC’s Federal Policy Division, was notably absent from the presentation, presumably occupied with shaping the Stage 2 proposed rule into releasable form.

With the Stage 2 meaningful use proposed rule still waiting in the wings, the certification team from ONC addressed HIMSS12 attendees Wednesday morning, delivering details on the agency’s efforts to move toward a permanent certification program for EHRs.

Steven Posnack, director of ONC’s Federal Policy Division, was notably absent from the presentation, presumably occupied with shaping the Stage 2 proposed rule into releasable form.

Doug Fridsma, director of ONC’s Office of Standards and Interoperability, said his group’s underlying mission is to modernize the way the U.S. healthcare system delivers value. “It’s about accelerating meaningful use, protecting information, and keeping patients safe,” he explained. “It’s about getting information in electronic form and getting it moving.”

Fridsma continued, “While we’re doing this, we need to promote standards and interoperability, stimulate innovation, and help providers take the tools they’ve been given and apply them to the care of patients.”

He added, “We’re working with our partners who are early adopters of this technology, and we’re here to promote understanding that there is not a one-size-fits-all [solution]. The beauty of having a portfolio is that you can select the right tool for the right task.”

Carol Bean, director of ONC’s certification division, said the temporary EHR certification currently in place will  “sunset” with the publication of the Stage 2 final rule, which is expected to be in effect by the end of August 2012. EHR vendors engaged in the temporary program will have 60 days from the sunset date to wrap up their testing.

The permanent certification program will roll into place from that point forward with a testing lab component separate from certification bodies.

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