Confused about EHR certification? You’re not alone. In a post to the federal HealthIT Buzz blog entitled Perpetually Perplexed by Regulatory Interpretations? Separate the Fact from Fiction,  Steven Posnack , the Director of the Federal Policy Division of  the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has debunked five common misunderstandings related to EHR certification:

  • If an eligible professional or eligible hospital combines multiple certified electronic health record (EHR) Modules together (or a certified EHR Module[s] with a certified Complete EHR), that combination also needs to be separately certified in order for it to meet the definition of Certified EHR Technology – *FICTION*
  • The ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ONC-ATCBs) operate under contract with and receive funding from ONC – *FICTION*
  • The ONC-ATCBs favor big EHR technology developers – *FICTION*
  • As an EP or EH, you need to demonstrate meaningful use in the exact way that EHR technology was tested and certified – *FICTION* (mostly)  See the jointly posted ONC and CMS FAQs (#24 or 10473
  • Certifications “expire” every two years – *FICTION*

Posnack’s article confirmed two additional frequently-heard statements as factual:

  • Testing and certification under the Temporary Certification Program does not examine whether two randomly combined EHR Modules will be compatible or work together – *FACT*  
  • Certification doesn’t require that an EHR technology designed by one EHR developer make its data accessible or “portable” to another EHR technology designed by a different developer – *FACT*