The federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT made its long-awaited announcement naming the first ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ONC-ATCB). Numerous observers believe many more vendors will be given the authority to test and certify electronic health records (EHR) for meaningful use, but the first two are Drummond Group Inc. and the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT).
Both organizations had been angling for certification authority for months. Only certified EHRs will qualify health care providers for Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act incentive payments. Keep in mind that so far, Drummond Group and CCHIT have been granted only the authority for temporary certification of EHRs for meaningful use, while ONC determines how to proceed with its permanent certification program. Confused? It’s all explained in this FAQ.
More ONC-ATCBs will likely be announced in the coming weeks, as companies such as Weno Healthcare announce their intentions to become ONC-ACTBs. Stay tuned to ONC’s official directory page to keep abreast of others as they come online. For added excitement, watch EHR vendors jockey for position to have their products certified first.