EHR Certification

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Monday, 27 August 2012 15:34

What does certification mean for a Health Care Provider?  Using a successfully certified EHR technology is a core requirement for achieving Meaningful Use.  It also assures health care providers that the EHR system they are using has all of the capabilities the provider needs to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.


An electronic health record system, or EHR, is a collection of electronic health information about patients and hospitals.  Included in the EHR’s are patient demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data and radiology reports. The use of an EHR system in a hospital helps to streamline a clinician’s workflow and have the ability to generate a complete record of the patients’ visits and treatment. The records are in digital format with the goal to be shared amongst different hospitals and physicians’ practices.


In Stage 1 of achieving Meaningful Use, hospitals are required to have a certified EHR system.  To establish a certified EHR you have two basic choices, obtain certification on your existing EHR system or implement an EHR system that has already been certified.  To receive a certification on an EHR system that has already been adopted you will have to use an organization that is an Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ATCBs).  The ONC has named these ATCBs…


Major perks for getting your existing EHR system certified included the savings of both money and resources.  Instead of spending a generous amount of money on a new system you could go through the steps and meet the requirements for your current EHR to be certified through one of the ONC-ATCBs listed above.  It will also save the health care provider from having to retrain all hospital personnel on a new EHR system.


For more details on EHR certification, the incentives offered for becoming certified, and more, go to the Certification Programs & Policy page on  To read the Federal Register for the Health Information Technology: Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology: Final Rule click Here.


~ Ashley West