ONC approves HIMSS-developed testing methodology for immunization data

A testing tool developed by HIMSS and the CDC has been approved by ONC to track immunizations.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is following through on its plan to transition health IT testing tools to the private sector and diversify its testing portfolio.

Just over two months after announcing a five-year plan to lean on industry-developed testing tools rather than its suite of taxpayer-funded tools, the ONC approved a testing methodology developed by HIMSS called the Immunization Integration Program. The program, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, uses EHRs and clinical software to improve vaccine tracking, view patient vaccine histories, transmit data to registries and ultimately improve vaccination rates across the country.

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“The newly approved HIMSS-IIP testing method leverages the open-source testing tool developed by National Institute of Standards and Technology for ONC’s 2015 Edition certification criteria,” Steven Posnack, director of the office of standards and technology wrote in a blog post. “It also includes additional validations for clinical workflow, reliability, and data above and beyond the baseline required for the purposes of the 2015 Edition.”

In June the ONC approved its first outside testing methodology developed by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for electronic clinical quality measures.

The announcement came several weeks after the ONC announced it would allow vendors to self-attest to 30 of the 55 EHR certification criteria, which led to concerns from some providers that the new scaled-back attestation process would “water down” certification.