EHR Certification
Certification of Health IT will provide assurance to purchasers and other users that an EHR system, or other relevant technology, offers the necessary technological capability, functionality, and security to help them meet the meaningful use criteria established for a given phase. Providers and patients must also be confident that the electronic health IT products and systems they use are secure, can maintain data confidentially, and can work with other systems to share information. Confidence in health IT systems is an important part of advancing health IT system adoption and allowing for the realization of the benefits of improved patient care.

Eligible professionals and eligible hospitals who seek to qualify for incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are required by statute to use Certified EHR Technology. Once certified, Complete EHRs and EHR Modules would be able to be used by eligible professionals and eligible hospitals, or be combined, to meet the statutory requirement for Certified EHR Technology.

To this end, as issued in June 2010, 45 CFR Part 170 subpart D - Establishment of the Temporary Certification Program for Health Information Technology establishes certification programs for purposes of testing and certifying health information technology. This final rule specifically establishes a temporary certification program to assure the availability of Certified EHR Technology prior to the date on which health care providers seeking the incentive payments would begin to report demonstrable meaningful use of Certified EHR Technology.

In January 2011, ONC issued the final rule to establish the permanent certification program Establishment of the Permanent Certification Program for Health Information Technology. The permanent certification program will eventually replace the temporary certification program. The temporary certification program will continue to be in effect until it sunsets on December 31, 2011, or at a later date when the processes necessary for the permanent certification program to operate are completed. ONC expects to carry out the programmatic activities necessary to implement the permanent certification program throughout 2011.

Additional Information
In collaboration with ONC, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed the functional and conformance testing requirements, test cases, and test tools to support the proposed Health IT Certification Programs. These conformance test methods (test procedures, test data, and test tools) will help ensure compliance with the meaningful use technical requirements and standards.

The following organizations have been selected as ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ATCBs):
Certified Health IT Product List
The online list of certified electronic health record technology is updated as ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies certify new products.
  • Surescripts LLC - Arlington, VA
    Date of authorization: December 23, 2010.
    Scope of authorization: EHR Modules: E-Prescribing, Privacy and Security.
  • ICSA Labs - Mechanicsburg, PA
    Date of authorization: December 10, 2010.
    Scope of authorization: Complete EHR and EHR Modules.
  • SLI Global Solutions - Denver, CO
    Date of authorization: December 10, 2010.
    Scope of authorization: Complete EHR and EHR Modules.
  • InfoGard Laboratories, Inc. San Luis Obispo, CA
    Date of authorization: September 24, 2010.
    Scope of authorization: Complete EHR and EHR Modules.
  • Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) - Chicago, IL
    Date of authorization: September 3, 2010.
    Scope of authorization: Complete EHR and EHR Modules.
  • Drummond Group, Inc. (DGI) - Austin, TX
    Date of authorization: September 3, 2010.
    Scope of authorization: Complete EHR and EHR Modules.

The organizations listed above have been authorized to perform Complete EHR and/or EHR Module testing and certification. These ONC-ATCBs are required to test and certify EHRs to the applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary under subpart C of Part 170 Part II and Part III as stipulated in the Standards and Certification Criteria Final Rule.

Certification by an ATCB will signify to eligible professionals, hospitals, and critical access hospitals that an EHR technology has the capabilities necessary to support their efforts to meet the goals and objectives of meaningful use.

Learn more about ONC-ATCBs:
  • Press Release - ONC-ATCB Announcement
  • Facts-at-a-Glance
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Applying to Become an ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Body
  • Learn More About the Temporary Certification Program
  • Learn More About Certification Programs