NIST announces approved procedures for EHR systems testing

The final EHR testing procedures received final approval on Aug. 2, and were published in final form in the Aug. 9 Federal Register. NIST said these ONC-approved procedures will provide a testing framework that ensures proper function and interchangeability across EHR systems developed by different vendors.

The procedures were published earlier this year in draft form, with NIST noting no changes to test procedures between the pending draft and this latest approved format. The Institute said, however, that certain technical corrections were made based on the feedback it received.

The approved testing procedures – 45 in total – provide for evaluation of EHR system components, including system encryption, reporting, and authorized access management. The procedures will be employed by a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)/ONC program that approves which EHR systems can be sold to doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers.

More importantly, as Infosecurity notes, only HHS/ONC-certified EHR software and systems will be eligible for increased Medicare/Medicaid reimbursements beginning in 2011, as outlined by the 2008 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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