The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is now accepting applications from electronic health record certification bodies for accreditation. It will continue taking applications until Oct. 7, and will announce the accredited entities starting Jan 1, 2012.
Under the HITECH provisions of the national stimulus legislation, the entities that certify EHRs and EHR modules as ready for Meaningful Use must be accredited by a third party. The Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT (ONC) selected ANSI in June.
The current temporary certification program will sunset in 2011. ANSI's imprimatur as ONC's sole permanent accreditation body will last for three years. After that, a new ONC accreditor will be chosen in a competitive process. Certification bodies come up for approval once every three years, as well.
Accreditation will be granted based on a certification entity's ability to comply with:
- SO/IEC Guide 65 - General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems
- IAF Guidance on the application of ISO/IEC Guide 65
- ANSI Policy - PL - 102 - Manual of Operations for Accreditation of Product Certification Programs
- 45 CFR Part 170 - Health Information Technology Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria and Certification Programs for Health Information Technology.
ANSI expects there will be half a dozen certification bodies. The Institute is a non-profit organization that oversees the creation, regulation and use of thousands of standards and guidelines in diverse industry. It represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.