Temporary electronic health record certification program launched

July 1, 2010

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has issued a ruling that establishes a temporary certification program for EHR technology.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has issued a ruling that establishes a temporary certification program for EHR technology. The use of "certified" EHRs is a requirement for healthcare providers to qualify to receive incentive payments under provisions in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), a part of ARRA. Details of the final regulations for the incentive programs from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are forthcoming.

EHR technology certification will be used to assure healthcare providers that the product or service they purchase will work as expected and will include all capabilities. Certification also guarantees that the EHR technology that providers choose has been tested and will work in a meaningful way to improve the quality of care given to their patients.

Final rules for the permanent certification program are expected to be published this fall.