EHR certification process: 'Massive' changes ahead?

The certification process for EHRs in the Meaningful Use program may soon undergo significant revision.

The Health IT Policy Committee's certification/adoption work group recommends two major changes to certification, according to an article in Health Data Management.

The first recommendation would be to take a "holistic" and "end-to-end" approach to certification to create a more streamlined, coordinated and timely process. The second would limit the scope of Health IT certification to interoperability, clinical quality measures and privacy and security.

The recommendations were made at the work group's meeting last week. Paul Tang, vice chair of the work group, called the recommended changes "massive," according to the article.

At a hearing held by the work group May 7, stakeholders expressed concern with the current certification process, noting that the "scope, compressed timeframe and resource needs" of EHRs were stifling innovation and impeding care delivery, according to an article in The group also met the following day to discuss the changes. 

The work group will present its recommendations at the next Health IT Policy Meeting. The next virtual meeting is scheduled for June 10; the next in-person meeting is July 8.

Certification has come under increasing fire in recent months, as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rolled out an interim, "voluntary" 2015 edition of certification criteria. The proposed new certification criteria is the first edition of certification criteria not tied to actual Meaningful Use regulations. It has been universally panned; even ONC's own Health IT Standards Committee weighed in against it, pointing out the cost burden to both vendors and providers and the "unclear benefit" to the provider community

To learn more:
- view the May 7 certification hearing materials here
- listen to the May 8 workgroup discussion here
- read the Health Data Management article
- here's the article