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Five Firms Named EHR Certification Bodies

July 19, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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Five firms have received accreditations of health information technology certification bodies by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system, under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) Permanent Certification Program for Health Information Technology (HIT). The five are Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT), Drummond Group, Inc., ICSA Laboratories, Inc., InfoGard Laboratories, Inc., and Orion Register, Inc.

ANSI was previously selected as the approved accreditor for the ONC program, which aims to provide a way for organizations to become authorized to test and certify EHR technology. As approved accreditor, ANSI reviews and accredits all certification bodies seeking to participate in the ONC program.  

The scopes for these accredited certifiers include complete EHRs and EHR modules. A complete EHR refers to EHR technology that has been developed to meet, at a minimum, all applicable certification criteria adopted by the HHS Secretary. An EHR module refers to any service, component, or combination thereof that meets at least one certification criterion adopted by the Secretary. It is anticipated that these accredited certification bodies, after approval by ONC, will provide certification under the criteria to be published under the final rule for 2014 Edition Certification Criteria.

"Accreditation by ANSI creates a valuable distinction for these five certification bodies," Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services, said in a statement. "The ONC program helps to instill confidence in EHR technology among health IT developers, health professionals and hospitals, and the general public."

This program seeks to enhance the certification processes for health IT in the U.S. by improving comprehensiveness, transparency, reliability, and efficiency. Accreditations have been granted based on the assessment of a certification body's competence in accordance with ONC and ANSI requirements, including demonstrated compliance with:

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