Wednesday, September 1, 2010

ONC Names 2 Review Bodies

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT), in Chicago, Illinois, and the Drummond Group Inc. in Austin, Texas were named by the National Coordinator for HIT as the first technology review bodies authorized to test and certify EHR systems for compliance with the standards and certification criteria issued by HHS earlier this year. This means that EHR vendors can now begin to have their products certified as meeting the criteria needed to support meaningful use objectives.

CCHIT already has plans to launch the HHS certification program on September 20th with a Town Call web cast describing their application and testing process. CCHIT will take new health IT developer applications at and the first group of HHS certified complete EHRs and EHR modules will be announced within weeks after the launch.

“Multiple steps are underway to carry out the intent of Congress to support the rapid and effective adoption of EHRs throughout the healthcare system,” Dr. Blumenthal National Coordinator said. “The naming of initial ONC Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ONC-ATCBs) is a very important step.

CMS is also working to create an online system for providers to use to register for the EHR incentive programs with the first incentive payments to be made May 2011. Meanwhile ONC is carrying out new programs to provide technical assistance and training, especially for smaller hospitals and physicians.