Nation's Largest Health Information Network Launches ONC-ATCB Testing and Certification Program for EHR Modules Covering E-Prescribing, Privacy and Security
ARLINGTON, Va. - February 22, 2011 - Surescripts, the nation's largest e-prescription network, today announced the availability of a new free of charge service to help vendors of electronic health records test and certify to providers that their EHR meets federal requirements for meaningful use. Surescripts E-Prescribing Certification and Testing services enable EHR vendors to test and certify for two of the EHR functions or "modules" - e-prescribing, security and privacy - that providers must use in order to qualify for incentives in 2011 and 2012 or "Stage 1" of the EHR incentive program.
The launch of the new service follows the recent announcement by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT that Surescripts has been selected as an ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Body under ONC's temporary certification program. The temporary program was established to ensure that certified EHR technology is available for adoption by health care providers who seek to qualify for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive payments beginning in 2011. To qualify as a temporary certification body, an organization must meet specific ISO standards for quality management as well as ONC's principles of proper conduct.
Leveraging its unique expertise in e-prescribing, Surescripts will offer its new service directly to vendors and in support of other ATCBs. For more information on Surescripts EPCAT? services, go to http://www.surescripts.com/about-us/meaningful-use-services.aspx.
"The federal government has committed unprecedented resources to supporting the adoption and use of certified EHR technologies, and it is now the private sector's turn to act," said Paul Uhrig, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Surescripts. "Certification bodies and vendors must swiftly collaborate to ensure that providers successfully qualify for incentives. Doing so will not only defray the cost of health IT, but will make a positive, meaningful impact on the cost and quality of health care in the United States."
"Testing and certification of health information technology are in our DNA," said JP Little, executive vice president of products and services for Surescripts. "For the better part of the last decade, Surescripts has collaborated with over 250 prescriber technology vendors on the way to enabling e-prescribing for over 200,000 providers at physician practices and health systems across the nation. This long-standing collaboration and success reflect a functional expertise and our principles as an organization. We are proud to bring all of these assets to bear in the service of a federal program dedicated to achieving meaningful improvements in the nation's health care system."
ONC has adopted test procedures established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The NIST test procedures set forth the certification criteria for the functionality required under meaningful use. More information can be found on NIST's website at http://healthcare.nist.gov/use_testing/effective_requirements.html.
Update 10/04/2012: The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) has, effective October 4th 2012, announced the sunset of the Temporary Certification Program related to phase 1 meaningful use testing and certification. This requires the Surescripts ATCB, in compliance with our authorization responsibilities, to enter a sunset phase for our EPCAT service. What this means is the Surescripts ATCB will no longer be able accept new applications for our EPCAT service. Additionally, vendors that entered into agreements with Surescripts prior to October 4, 2012 will have until April 4, 2013 to complete the certification process.
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Surescripts supports the most comprehensive ecosystem of health care organizations nationwide with the nation's largest e-prescription network. Surescripts was founded on the principles of privacy, security, neutrality, choice, transparency, collaboration and quality. Surescripts connects prescribers in all 50 states through their choice of e-prescribing software to the nation's leading payers, chain pharmacies and independent pharmacies. By securely and reliably providing access to prescription and health information for routine, recurring and emergency care, Surescripts is committed to saving lives, improving efficiency and reducing the cost of health care for all. For more information, go to www.surescripts.com and follow us at twitter.com/surescripts.