EHR Certifier Accreditation Starts

Chosen Certifiers Will OK Software for Incentive Program
EHR Certifier Accreditation Starts
The American National Standards Institute has begun accepting applications from organizations that want to be accredited to certify electronic health records software for the HITECH Act EHR incentive program. Applications will be accepted through Oct. 7, and accreditations will begin next year.

In June, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT selected ANSI to accredit certifiers for the new permanent certification program (See: ANSI to Accredit EHR Certifiers).

ANSI is a not-for-profit organization that develops standards in numerous sectors. For example, it played a key role in creating standards for electronic healthcare transactions called for under HIPAA. ONC is coordinating the EHR incentive program for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Under the temporary certification program put into effect to kick-start the EHR incentive project this year on a tight deadline, six organizations are serving as certifiers using an initial set of EHR certification criteria. The permanent certification program is slated to launch next year, when new EHR certification criteria will be issued and ANSI will accredit new certifiers.

EHR software certification criteria now in place include standards that require the software to have multiple privacy and security functions, including encryption. More than 1,000 EHR applications have been certified so far under the temporary certification program.

To qualify to be a certifier under the permanent program, ANSI says an organization must demonstrate compliance with:

  • ISO/IEC (International Organization for Standardization and International Electrotechnical Commission) Guide 65, which includes general requirements for organizations operating product certification systems;
  • IAF (International Accreditation Forum) guidance on the application of ISO/IEC Guide 65;
  • ANSI Policy PL-102, the manual of operations for accreditation of product certification programs;
  • 45 CFR Part 170, Health Information Technology Standards, Implementation Specifications and Certification Criteria and Certification Programs for Health Information Technology (the current HITECH Act EHR incentive program software certification criteria.)

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

Former News Editor, ISMG

Anderson was news editor of Information Security Media Group and founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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