HIT developers make progress in certifying to 2015 Edition criteria

Most meet ‘base EHR definition’ which focuses on a core set of capabilities, says ONC’s Steve Posnack.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has released two data visualizations that display HIT developers’ progress in certifying to the 2015 Edition certification criteria, along with comparable statistics on the approximate share of eligible hospitals and clinicians who use the technology.

According to ONC’s data, developers have made significant progress toward certifying to the 2015 Edition’s Base EHR Definition criteria—which focuses on a core set of capabilities that all users of certified HIT should possess. And, among those developers that haven’t yet achieved the Base EHR Definition, most are only one or two certified criteria away, reports the agency.

The Base EHR Definition includes the following capabilities:
  • Patient demographic and clinical health information, such as medical history and problem lists
  • Capacity to provide clinical decision support
  • Capacity to support physician order entry
  • Capacity to capture and query information relevant to healthcare quality, and
  • Capacity to exchange electronic health information with, and integrate such information from, other sources

Also See: Revisions to Health IT Certification Program get mixed reviews

Steve Posnack, director of ONC’s Office of Standards and Technology, co-authored a blog this week explaining that the agency used the subset of 2015 Edition certification criteria required to meet the Base EHR Definition as a “proxy” for developers’ overall certification progress.

“This subset serves as a good proxy because all eligible hospitals and clinicians must have health IT certified to these criteria in order to ultimately have Certified EHR Technology,” wrote Posnack and his colleagues. “Next we matched health IT developers with data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) Medicare EHR Incentive Program attestations to approximate the proportion of all healthcare providers that use a developer’s certified technology. Through combining this data we are able to visualize the progress of health IT developers toward 2015 Edition certification and the approximate share of their users.”

Nonetheless, the ONC officials were quick to point out that these “market estimates” do not perfectly capture the entire HIT market.

“The data presented in these visualizations is limited to just those hospitals and clinicians who have participated in the CMS Medicare EHR Incentive Program,” they contend. “Further, the data does not distinguish between different health IT markets such as those for specialists or those that focus on particular health IT functionalities, such as privacy and security, quality measurement, and health information exchange.”

Details on how ONC determined its estimates are documented here in the data visualizations.

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