Third EHR Certifier SelectedInfoGard Laboratories to Test Software for Incentive Program
The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, headed by David Blumenthal, M.D., has selected InfoGard Laboratories Inc., San Luis Obispo, Calif., as a certifier.
Earlier, Blumenthal's office authorized The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology, Chicago, and the Drummond Group Inc., Austin, Texas, as EHR software certifiers. And the office is continuing to review additional candidates' applications.
The recently announced certification standards include numerous security capabilities, including encryption.
InfoGard, founded in 1993, provides accredited IT assurance services to customers worldwide. CCHIT has been certifying EHR software since 2006 in an independent program. The Drummond Group has tested the interoperability of software in many industries, including healthcare, since 1999. Under the HITECH Act, Medicare and Medicaid will provide as much as $27 billion in incentive payments, beginning next year, to hospitals and physicians who make "meaningful use" of qualifying certified EHR software.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology recently completed a set of procedures that the certifiers will use when testing the applications. The 45 approved test procedures are designed to evaluate all the components of EHRs, including security features, such as encryption and authentication.