ONC puts its mark on certified EHRs

ONC puts its mark on certified EHRs

Doctors looking to purchase EHR technology can now get a visual cue about a product's ability to support the pursuit of meaningful use. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) announced on July 10 that a new mark (pictured) will appear on EHR products that have been certified by an ONC-Authorized Certification Body (ONC-ACB) and will indicate that the product meets the 2014 Edition Standards and Certification Criteria.

“We’ve reached the tipping point of doctors adopting electronic health record systems and using them to improve patient care,” said Farzad Mostashari, M.D., national coordinator for health information technology, in a news release. “The use of the ONC Certified HIT mark will help to assure them that the EHR they have purchased will support them in meeting the meaningful use requirements.”

EHR technology may be certified by one of four ONC-ACBs accredited by the American National Standards Institute and authorized by ONC. The mark indicates that the product -- whether a complete EHR, an EHR module or another type of health IT product -- meets ONC’s applicable certification criteria and can achieve interoperability, functionality and security requirements. For example, meaningful use criteria include such requirements as computerized provider order entry, drug-to-drug and drug-allergy checks, and the capability to coordinate clinical information to help improve the quality of patient care, among others.

ONC-ACBs will begin to issue the mark to certified EHR products immediately.

When the mark is associated with a certified "Complete EHR" it means that the EHR technology can be used without modification to achieve meaningful use, according to ONC. A certified EHR module may be combined with other modules to make a complete system. Some modules may include the ability to:

  • create a standard patient summary care record;
  • securely transmit summary care records using Direct, a tool that allows for the secure exchange of health information over the Internet; and
  • provide patients with online access to view, download and transmit their health information to destinations of their choice.

Click here to learn more about the terms and use of the mark.