A certification program launched earlier this year at the IHE North American Connectathon, designed to promote interoperability among vendors, has certified its first batch of health IT products, officials from IHE and ICSA Labs announced Tuesday.
Under the certification program, a joint initiative of IHE
USA and ICSA Labs, the products met rigorous testing requirements for both security and interoperability. And eight vendors came out on top.
The certified products are offered by Baxter Healthcare Corporation, B. Braun Medical Inc., CareFusion
; Corepoint Health; Greenway Medical Technologies
, Hospira, InterSystems
, and Masimo Corporation.
All these vendors' products met requirements in the IHE Patient Care Device or IHE IT infrastructure domains – which specify capabilities related to medical device interoperability, clinical-document sharing, patient identification, audit logging and security, officials say.
The certification by IHE USA, a nonprofit organization started in 2010 to drive interoperability in healthcare, also builds on specifications from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, according to officials. As a result, the certification gives purchasers of health IT products independent third-party verification that products are suitable for health data exchange and function as intended.
The certification program stemmed from a growing concern among healthcare IT organizations that today's software, medical devices and IT systems are often incompatible, making the secure sharing of health data a complicated and expensive endeavor.
"Products that are certified for IHE USA interoperability bring tremendous value to the entire healthcare ecosystem," said Joyce Sensmeier, president of IHE USA and vice president of informatics at HIMSS
, in a new release. "As an industry, we need to set a high bar if we are to rise to the challenge of transforming our healthcare system. For the health IT vendors that have achieved IHE USA certification, this means their integration capabilities go beyond minimum federal requirements to deliver more robust, high-quality, standards-based products."
"IHE USA Certified products benefit purchasers, system developers and, ultimately, patients," said Amit Trivedi, healthcare program manager at ICSA Labs, in a news release. "There is a dizzying array of products and systems to choose from, and IHE USA Certification by ICSA Labs
can be a differentiating factor to make a more informed decision when selecting the right health IT product to implement."