HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has named the American National Standards Institute as its designated accreditor of organizations certifying electronic health-record systems.
ONC names ANSI permanent accreditor
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the ONC was authorized to establish a process for both testing and certifying electronic health-record systems as capable of meeting meaningful-use standards that providers must meet to qualify for federal IT incentive payments.
The ONC's initial rules called for combined testing and certification organizations. Currently, there are six ONC-authorized testing and certification bodies.
Under a permanent rule, set to take effect in 2012, the testing and certification procedures for EHRs will be bifurcated, as will the accreditation of those organizations that perform the testing and certification functions. The rule provides, however, that one organization can still provide both functions.
Pursuant to that rule, issued in January, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, through its National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program, will accredit organizations to test health information technology systems under the stimulus law.
The ANSI, meanwhile, will serve as the ONC-approved accreditor, with the authority to accredit as meaningful-use-capable those organizations that certify EHR systems.
Founded in 1919, ANSI "oversees the creation, promulgation and use of thousands of norms and guidelines" across an array of industries, according to a history of the organization on its website.
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.