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ONC to Release New 2015 Edition Health IT Documents in Coming Weeks

October 19, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Now that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has published the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria final rule for electronic health records (EHRs), more documents to help jumpstart health IT development efforts are on the way.

According to a blog post from Steven Posnack, ONC Director, Office of Standards and Technology, two types of documents related to the 2015 Edition will be released over the next few weeks. The first set of documents called “Certification Companion Guides (CCGs)” is a byproduct of ONC’s “kaizen” and stakeholder outreach throughout the year. “The CCGs are designed help health IT developers more quickly understand and interpret our regulatory requirements so that they can focus on product development. Going forward, there will be a CCG for each certification criterion that distills in one place each criterion’s regulatory history, requirements, and any subsequent clarifications.  The CCGs will be updated on an as-needed basis,” Posnack wrote in the blog.

The second set includes draft 2015 Edition Test Procedures for each certification criterion, which will be published for stakeholder feedback and a 30-day comment period. ONC intends to publish test procedures for comment at the same time as their associated CCG is published, Posnack said.

“Additionally, over the next few weeks our colleagues at NIST will begin to make available “alpha” versions of 2015 Edition testing tools for early feedback and pilot testing.  Earlier availability of test tools was another request we have done our best to respond to for the 2015 Edition,” Posnack said.

ONC’s 2015 Edition final rule, released with the meaningful use Stage 2 and 3 final rules earlier this month, highlights interoperability by adopting new and updated vocabulary and content standards for the structured recording and exchange of health information, including a common clinical data set composed primarily of data expressed using adopted standards; and rigorously testing an identified content exchange standard (Consolidated Clinical Document Architecture (C-CDA). All providers will be required to conform to meaningful use Stage 3 requirements beginning in 2018, using EHR technology certified to the 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria.


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