The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Office of the National Coordinator for HIT have introduced the “Designated Test EHR Program,” to support exchange of summary of care documents among disparate electronic health records systems under Stage 2 of the meaningful use program.

The transitions of care measure in Stage 2 requires providers to “conduct one or more successful electronic exchanges of a summary of care document, with a recipient who has EHR technology designed by a different EHR technology developer than the sender’s,” or “conduct one or more successful tests with the CMS designated test EHR during the EHR reporting period."

Consequently, CMS is looking for vendors to serve as test EHRs for hospitals that wish to use the second approach to satisfy the transitions of care measure. Three vendors--athenahealth, McKesson and Meditech--conducted pilot tests in late 2013. CMS now has designated McKesson and Meditech as the first two “Test EHRs,” and seeks more.

The minimum performance requirements for Test EHRs are:

* The EHR technology vendor must demonstrate and maintain ability to execute the “Authorized Vendor Test Instruction” as described in the “Test Instructions for Cross Vendor Exchange” draft document;

* The EHR technology vendor must only test the specified capabilities described in “Test Instructions for Cross Vendor Exchange” document during Cross Vendor Exchange; and

* The EHR technology vendor must only utilize and test EHR technology successfully certified under the ONC HIT Certification Program during the execution of cross vendor exchange testing.

For more information, click here for the EHR Technology Developers and Users section on ONC’s meaningful use Frequently Asked Questions site.

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