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ONC lanza las pautas para las compañías que desean certificar EHRs

por Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | June 21, 2010
Progress toward EHR certification
Organizations wishing to certify electronic health records to ensure they allow health care providers to meet "meaningful use" criteria now have a process in place to do so.

On Friday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology issued final rules for the temporary certification program for companies wishing to test EHRs.

The new rules lay out the path by which companies can become an ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Body, responsible for making sure EHR systems are "compliant with the standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria adopted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary," the ONC said on its website.

An "interim" decision on standards and criteria was published in January by the HHS, with a final one expected soon, the ONC said.

Only certified EHR technology can be used by providers wanting to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments set to get doled out next year.

"By purchasing certified EHR technology, hospitals, and eligible professionals and hospitals, will be able to make EHR purchasing decisions knowing that the technology will allow them to become meaningful users of electronic health records, qualify for the payment incentives, and begin to use EHRs in a way that will improve quality and efficiency in our health care system," Dr. David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P., the national coordinator for health information technology, said in a statement.

The ONC will start accepting applications from those organizations wanting to qualify for the ONC-ATCB program in July.
A permanent certification for organizations process likely won't be in place before 2012, the ONC said.

The 206-page final rule can be found here: http://www.federalregister.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2010-14999_PI.pdf