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ONC releases final 2014 EHR certification criteria

Providers and technology developers working towards meeting 2014 Edition electronic health record certification standards now have revised and optional criteria to fit into their agendas, after the ONC released a final rule that updates 2014 requirements. The ONC also decided not to wholly adopt the proposed 2015 Edition EHR certification criteria, instead opting to incorporate a subset of those rules as optional 2014 criteria.

The update, dubbed “2014 Edition Release 2” came after a proposed rule, followed by a public comment period. The Release 2 consists of ten optional and two revised certification criteria to be part of the 2014 final rule.

The full report of the final rule — released on the Federal Register’s website — went into greater detail on what the rule update entails and what it will require of developers and providers. A low- cost estimate projected that EHR technology developers will spend just under $3 million combined between this year and next in testing their products and having them certified to meet the standards of the revised 2014 Edition certification criteria.

The changes affecting providers include an alteration that splits the computerized physician order entry criterion into three separate criteria according to their capabilities, whether they are medications, laboratory, or diagnostic imaging-based. An update to the “Transmission to public health agencies –syndromic surveillance” criteria permits any electronic method of collecting syndromic surveillance data for exchange.

“It provides more choices for health IT developers and their customers, including new interoperable ways to securely exchange health information. It also serves as a model for ONC to update its rules as technology and standards evolve to support innovation,” National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo, M.D., said in an HHS news bulletin on the Release 2 update.

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