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Health IT Certification Surveillance

ONC just let out a list of health IT products and developers, which includes EHR systems that have broken the requirements of health IT certification, like strong patient privacy measures, HIE capabilities, as well as quality care guarantees.

The results of this were published on the website for certified health IT product list, in the bit to boost healthcare transparency and allow stakeholders to make better purchase decisions. The results from surveillance also played to stakeholders who depend on certified health IT products in order to qualify for value-based programs, including incentive programs for the use of EHR.

Karson Mahler, JD, Policy Analyst at the Office of Policy, joined with Captain Alicia Morton, DNP, RN-BC, Director of the Health IT Certification Program, in penning a blog post. It says, “Surveillance of certified products and the corrective action plan process is central to ONC’s Health IT Certification Program, as it provides vital transparency and accountability about certified products and capabilities and the certification process itself.” Mahler also added that stakeholders are being urged to use the data while evaluating and comparing products, and unearthing issues that affect their CEHRT.

ONC chose Authorized Certification Bodies to test health IT products and developers to make sure these products are keeping with program requirements. Even after initial testing, the surveillance search the purpose of making sure certification requirements are met not simply in the controlled testing environment, but also ‘in the field’. Mahler and Morton added that “surveillance takes place on both a ‘randomized’ schedule and in response to specific complaints.”

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Evaluating And Comparing Products

If a product shows non-conformities, ONC has placed requirements for developers to collaborate with the Authorized Certification Body, in devising an action plan that can fix the detected issues. The ONC blog post says each of the action plans should:

  • shorten the non-conformities and shortcomings of the health IT product,
  • assess the scale of the issues compared to other products and users,
  • lay out the method developer will use manage problems,
  • make sure that every potentially affected user and customer will be notified of and assisted with dissolving their non-conformity, and
  • give a timeframe for the resolution of problems

ONC also said that it would publish corrective action plans to the Certified Health IT Product List website each week, including certification information, and the dates and descriptions of issue resolution.

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