EHR Certifier Accreditation StartsChosen Certifiers Will OK Software for Incentive Program
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.)