ONC unveils new certification mark

ONC unveils new certification mark

Offers meaningful assurance for providers

As we reach the "tipping point" of electronic health record adoption, the Office of the National Coordinator has issued a mark for EHRs and other health IT products, meant to serve as visual proof that they can offer functionality, interoperability and security.

The new mark for certified electronic health records technology was unveiled Wednesday and will appear on EHR products that have been certified by an ONC-Authorized Certification Body, indicating that the product meets the 2014 Edition Standards and Certification Criteria, officials say.

Eligible professionals and hospitals must demonstrate meaningful use of EHR technology that has been certified under the ONC Health Information Technology Certification Program to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive payments.

"We've reached the tipping point of doctors adopting electronic health record systems and using them to improve patient care," said Farzad Mostashari, MD, national coordinator for health information technology, in an agency news release. "The use of the ONC Certified HIT mark will help to assure them that the EHR they have purchased will support them in meeting the Meaningful Use requirements."

Electronic health records technology may be certified by one of four ONC-ACBs accredited by the American National Standards Institute and authorized by ONC. Officials say this new mark is a visual cue that the product – whether a complete EHR, an EHR module or another type of health IT product – meets ONC's applicable certification criteria and can achieve interoperability, functionality and security.

For example, the criteria include such requirements as computerized provider order entry, drug to drug and drug-allergy checks, and the capability to coordinate clinical information to help improve the quality of patient care, among others.

When the mark is associated with a certified "Complete EHR" it means that the EHR technology can be used without modification to achieve meaningful use, officials say. A certified EHR module may be combined with other modules to make a complete system.

These modules may include the ability to create a standard patient summary care record, securely transmit summary care records using Direct protocols and provide patients with online access to view, download and transmit their health information.

ONC-ACBs will begin to issue the mark to certified EHR products immediately. Learn more about the terms and use of the mark here.

[See also: EHRs fail tests, certifications revoked]