First federal agency receives Meaningful Use certification

The Indian Health Service (IHS) this week became the first federal agency to receive certification of its electronic health record (EHR) system supporting its efforts to achieve Meaningful Use.

IHS's Resource and Patient Management System (RPMS)--the health information system that supports the patient care and public health efforts of IHS--passed all tests needed for certification for ambulatory and inpatient settings.

The IHS provides healthcare services to 2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives who reside in 35 states. The RPMS EHR system was derived from the Department of Veterans Affairs' VistA EHR system, and currently is operational at more than 280 IHS, tribal, and urban Indian healthcare facilities across the country.

"The Indian Health Service is very proud to be the first federal agency to earn this certification, which is based on industry standards. Our certified electronic health record will help us provide quality health care delivery to patients in the Indian health system," IHS Director Yvette Roubideaux, MD, MPH, said in a statement. "The monetary incentives made available by this certification will also benefit IHS, tribal, and urban Indian health facilities."

RPMS was certified by InfoGard Laboratories, an ONC-authorized testing and certification Body. The National Indian Health Board, a non-profit organization that offers a variety of research services on behalf of tribal governments, is acting as the regional health IT extension center to assist providers with the technical questions to become Meaningful Users of certified EHRs, reports Government Health IT.

For more details:
- see the IHS announcement (.pdf)
- see the Government Health IT article