Confidence in health information technology (IT) systems is an
important part of advancing health IT adoption and realizing the benefits of
improved patient care. The
of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology website states that
“providers and patients must be confident that the electronic health information
technology products and systems they use are secure, can maintain data
confidentiality, can work with other systems to share patient information, and
can perform a set of well-defined functions.” Regulations and guidance for EHR technology standards and certification
have been issued for the purpose of ensuring that certified EHR products meet
these criteria. Receiving incentive money through the Texas Medicaid Electronic
Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program requires the use of certified EHR technology.
CMS and ONC Guidance on Certified EHR Technology
- What does it mean that an EHR technology product is certified?
- What are some of the criteria that must be met for an EHR product to become
- How do I determine whether my EHR is certified?
- If my product is currently not on the list, what do I do?
To provide assurance to eligible professionals (EPs) and eligible hospitals
(EHs) that the EHR technology they adopt will assist their achievement of
meaningful use, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information
Technology (ONC) developed a certification program for EHR technology.
It also established how outside organizations can become ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies
ONC-ATCBs are required to test and certify that certain EHR technologies are
compliant with the standards, implementation specifications, and certification
criteria adopted by the HHS Secretary and meet the definition of “certified EHR
technology.” The ONC-ATCBs certify complete EHR systems and EHR modules. It
should be noted that to qualify for incentives, providers who use a
combination of EHR modules must install an appropriate combination of modules
that fully supports meaningful use criteria and qualifies for a CMS EHR
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The testing criteria that each certified EHR must pass include over 45 test
points. Some key points are whether
- Can incorporate lab test results.
- Can maintain an active medication list as well as a medication allergy list.
- Includes a drug-drug / drug-allergy interaction check.
- Provides data encryption when exchanging electronic information.
- Delivers electronic discharge instructions.
- Calculates and submits clinical quality measures.
Full listing of all testing requirements
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All EHR systems and technology must be
certified specifically for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program by the
Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)
and its authorized certification organizations. The
Certified Health IT Product List is available at
www.healthit.hhs.gov/CHPL. This is a list of all complete
EHR modules that have been
for the purposes of this program.
Instructions on how to use the website and obtain a CMS EHR Certification
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Talk to your EHR vendor about their plans and timeline for getting certified, or
consider upgrading to a certified EHR system. Vendors can submit their
EHR products to the certifying bodies to be tested and
certified – complete EHRs as well as EHR modules that meet at least one of the certification
criteria. Hospitals and practices that have developed their own
EHR systems or products can also seek to have their existing systems or products
tested and certified. Once a product is certified,
the name of the product will be published on the ONC web site:
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