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All Things HIT

Aug 30 2010   10:01PM GMT

ATCB’s are ready to certify vendors, but are they really?

Posted by: AllinHIT

On June 18th, the ONC issued a final rule on the temporary program for Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ATCB’s) for EHR Meaningful Use certification.  I was also elated that CCHIT was not grandfathered in (however, we all knew that they was going to be one of the ATCB’s).  The industry has needed more than one certifying body for a long time.  Now on August 30, 2010, 10 weeks after the final rule, we know that Drummond Group Inc., is joining this lonely group of certifiers.  The Drummond Group is based in Austin, Texas, and currently operates a test laboratory for interoperability, conformance testing, and certification for several industries. Hence, it made sense for them to explore a new vertical.  Now, we have to wait and see what other firms will become certifiers, and it can’t come soon enough! 

We will see a plethora of new EHR’s vying for this certification.  It seems that every entity in the healthcare industry, is developing an EHR! If we don’t have more than two ATCB’s, by year end, there will be a huge backlog of vendors waiting for certification.  This could seriously effect vendor sales, as no physician or hospital will consider anything but a certified vendor….and can you blame them?

The ONC claims that vendors can immediately apply for certification.  However, I have some serious concerns about CCHIT and Drummond not being able to handle the amount of inquiries.  I wonder how will they prioritize?  Is it first come, first served?  Will there be some bias as to the size of the vendor, its history with CCHIT certifications?  This all remains to be seen, but I wish them luck, and I think the vendors will need a little bit of luck themselves.

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