McKesson, Meditech to test data exchange

CMS and ONC launch Designated Test EHR program
By Mike Miliard
11:04 AM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT have tapped McKesson and Meditech as the first vendors for its Designated Test EHR Program.

As mandated by the transition of care objectives of Stage 2 of meaningful use, eligible professionals, eligible hospitals and critical access hospitals must either a) conduct one or more electronic exchanges of a summary of care document with a recipient whose EHR technology is from a different vendor, or b) conduct one or more successful tests with the CMS designated test EHR during the EHR reporting period.

[See also: Stage 2 proves challenging for vendors .]

CMS is designating multiple test EHRs for EPs, EHs and CAHs to use if they elect to pursue that second approach.

Those test EHRs will be registered on a software system, EHR Randomizer, hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which will randomly match an EP, EH or CAH with a designated test EHR that's developed by a different EHR vendor.

The agencies have chosen McKesson and Meditech as test EHRs to start with, and have put out the call for "others in the EHR technology developer community" to participate in the test program.

[See also: Stage 2 changes may be rude awakening.]

ONC worked with NIST on a pilot this past fall, with participation from McKesson, Meditech and athenahealth, to finalize the test procedures. 

To find out more about becoming a CMS designated test EHR, read the "EHR Technology Developers" section of the FAQs on becoming a CMS designated test EHR and the "Developer Participant Information for Cross Vendor Exchange" document.