EHRA Raises Concerns About 2015 EHR Certification Criteria

In a letter to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, the Electronic Health Record Association raised concerns about a proposed rule containing voluntary certification criteria for electronic health record systems in 2015, EHR Intelligence reports (Murphy, EHR Intelligence, 4/25).

Background on Proposed 2015 Certification Criteria

The certification criteria propose:

  • Developing a way for non-meaningful use EHR systems to become certified;
  • Enhancing interoperability efforts;
  • Issuing new certification criteria on functionality for patient population filtering of clinical quality measures; and
  • Improving alignment with other HHS programs and recommendations from the Office of Inspector General.

The proposed rule would allow ONC to more frequently update certification criteria to reflect new standards and to offer regulatory clarity (iHealthBeat, 2/24).

Details of Letter

In the letter, EHRA responded specifically to two parts of the proposed rule:

  • Frequency of certification; and
  • Risks associated with enhanced clinical quality measures.

The letter stated, "Knowing that final specifications, test scripts and tools likely will not be available until months after the final rule comes out, we and our customers actually have even less time for all this work." In addition, the group called the 2015 edition implementation schedule an "unrealistic timeframe" (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 4/24).

EHRA proposed re-naming the current certification criteria the "2016 Edition" in order "to provide some semblance of reality in terms of expectations by other federal agencies and EHR users as to when some of the final proposed functionality might be implemented" (EHR Intelligence, 4/25).

The association added, "More frequent certification is not desirable and would be costly" (Healthcare IT News, 4/24).

EHRA also asked ONC "to consider a more incremental approach to the eventual implementation and adoption of these standards, ensuring that each one has been fully tested and piloted prior to requiring adoption by all EHRs" (EHR Intelligence, 4/25).

Source: iHealthBeat, Friday, April 25, 2014

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