ARLINGTON, Va. – October 15, 2019 – The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has named Surescripts as an ONC Program Partner for Electronic Prescribing (45 C.F.R. § 170.315(b)(3)) and approved Surescripts as an alternative test method to the ONC-Authorized Testing Laboratory (ONC-ATL). Now, electronic health records (EHR) vendors who complete Surescripts certification testing for E-Prescribing or Medication History for Ambulatory may simultaneously achieve ONC Health IT certification for the National Council for Prescription Drug Programs’ (NCPDP) SCRIPT 10.6 standard.
“The addition of the Surescripts test method adds a new flexibility within the current alternative test method approval process, and lays the groundwork for future ONC-Surescripts collaboration,” said Steve Posnack, Deputy National Coordinator for Health IT at ONC. “Testing by ONC Program Partners provides additional streamlined pathways for health IT developers to demonstrate conformance with ONC Health IT Certification Program requirements in lieu of testing directly with an ONC-Authorized Testing Lab (ONC-ATL).”
This recent addition to the testing portfolio is in line with ONC’s goal to transition the ONC Health IT Certification Program’s testing portfolio to as many industry-developed and maintained testing tools as possible. The purpose of this goal is to more efficiently focus testing resources and better align with industry-developed testing tools to support real-world testing as envisioned by the 21st Century Cures Act.
ONC Health IT certification is required, as part of ONC’s 170.315 (b)(3) criterion and related standards, in order for prescribers to earn incentives and avoid penalties from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) based on their use of technology that facilitates electronic prescribing.
“We’ve worked closely with ONC for many years to align our certification requirements and ultimately deliver more value across the Surescripts Network Alliance,” said Mike Pritts, Chief Product Officer of Surescripts. “By removing duplicate testing requirements, we’ve helped EHRs streamline and speed up the certification process so they can focus on meeting the needs of their prescribers. As an ONC Program Partner, we expect to update this partnership as the transition to NCPDP SCRIPT v2017071 occurs next year.”
Surescripts E-Prescribing enhances the prescribing process by empowering prescribers and pharmacists with a streamlined workflow and more time with patients, who benefit from improved medication adherence, safety and efficiency. Surescripts supports standard e-prescribing transactions required by ONC. Surescripts Medication History for Ambulatory aggregates and delivers accurate medication histories into the ambulatory care workflow to inform e-prescribing.
EHRs who have already achieved ONC Health IT certification for 2015, in accordance with NCPDP SCRIPT standard 10.6, do not need to take any action. EHRs who have not already achieved certification for 2015 can use Surescripts test certificates as long as they are certified for all of the required message types.