Drummond Group Inc. has prepared guidance for the testing and certification of homegrown hospital electronic health record (EHR) software.
The guidance, referred to as the EHR Certification Roadmap for Hospitals, helps institutions test their EHR software against the Stage 1 meaningful use criteria. From there, they perform what Drummond calls a certification gap analysis to see where their system falls short of the EHR standards defined by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). Once those gaps have been filled, Drummond will test the hospital EHR system against the ONC’s EHR standards to ensure that it meets the meaningful use criteria.
The roadmap helps address a concern that many larger health care organizations have had since the EHR Incentive Programs were first announced: The typical hospital EHR system is complex — that is, it’s not made up of a single product, and it often has at least some features that were developed in-house — and therefore needs some special attention.
To that end, Drummond is the second of the six ONC Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies, or ONC-ATCBs, to address this issue. Earlier this year, the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) launched a custom hospital EHR certification program. To date, CCHIT has certified the homegrown EHR software at the Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. The CCHIT program also lets organizations conduct a gap analysis of their hospital EHR system before they embark on certification.
Drummond’s roadmap for hospital EHR systems does not cover product certification yet. Nonetheless, the program should help institutions identify where their myriad EHR software applications do and don’t meet EHR standards. With such tight deadlines for applying for federal meaningful use incentives, that sort of reality check could appeal to many hospitals.