ONC releases update to certified health IT product list

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Discover how you can benefit from electronically communicating with practices that use different technology--and how it could help you attain meaningful use through a new government ruling.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released its version 2.1 update to the certified health IT product list (CHPL) June 26.

The new list’s most significant alteration involves the ability to create “hybrid” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) certification IDs for eligible professionals  (EPs) who practice ambulatory and in-patient medicine on disparate electronic health record (EHR) systems that are already certified for those healthcare settings. CMS requires certification IDs for EPs to attest to meaningful use.

Other new or enhanced functionality in the 2.1 update:

• improved return to search functionality,
• improved cart functionality,
• improved product record display, and
• improved product record search.

“For the first round of meaningful use, [Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC)] had to certify its systems twice, once for ambulatory and again for in-patient,” says John Halamka, MD, chief information officer of BIDMC and Harvard Medical School and a cochairman of the National HIT Standards Committee. “The hybrid approach reduces the certification burden for vendors and self-certifiers. It refines an already good program.”

In other words, enabling EPs to achieve certification on disparate systems simultaneously “frees providers to simplify workflow, save time, and improve care without worrying if all functions fall under one certification ID for ONC,” says John Haughton, MD, MS, CMIO at Covisint Inc. “Some community providers have certified [EHRs] with limited workflow for population management, quality reporting, and patient list management (registry functions). Allowing users to combine two or more certified systems or modules together for ONC submission helps streamline the administrative process of meeting meaningful use.”

The ONC CHPL contains a comprehensive record of full EHRs and EHR modules that have received ONC-authorized testing and certification body status under the temporary certification program.