The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has named the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) an authorized certification body (ONC-ACB) to certify EHRs for the Permanent Certification Program for Health Information Technology. Previously, CCHIT was an authorized testing and certification body (ONC-ATCB) for the Temporary Certification Program. It will become permanent effective on Oct. 4, 2012, and will be known thereafter as the ONC HIT Certification Program.
CCHIT said following its accreditation last month by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a certification body for the ONC HIT Certification Program, it applied to become an ONC-ACB. It recent has also been an Accredited Testing Laboratory (ATL) by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to test EHR technology.
Developers can test their EHR technology with an ATL, and if their product meets the requirements, they apply to an ONC-ACB to certify the product. In addition to its certification program, CCHIT says it will also offer its test services to developers as an ATL. CCHIT’s accredited testing and authorized certification services will be available only for the ONC 2011 edition criteria until ONC makes available testing procedures for the 2014 Edition. Until then it will certify under the Temporary Certification Program authorization.
“This is a significant milestone for CCHIT’s ONC authorized certification program,” Alisa Ray, CCHIT’s executive director, said in a statement. “We are eager to begin offering these services to both our commercial developer and provider clients. While we must maintain a separation between testing and certification services even though we perform both, we believe our clients are best served when they choose to both test and certify in tandem programs.”
CCHIT has tested and certified almost 700 EHR products under the Temporary Certification Program.