The National Institute of Standards and Technology has released the first of four installments, called Waves, of new test methods and related software for ensuring electronic health records systems comply with meaningful use requirements.

NIST, part of the Department of Commerce, is partnering with the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology on the initiative.

The test methods are procedures, data and tools to ensure compliance with the meaningful use technical requirements and standards as proposed in the interim final rule published on Jan. 13, 2010. These methods are subject to revision if changes are made to the interim final rule following the public comment period that ended on March 15.

The Waves are four sets of meaningful use criteria from the proposed rule published on Jan. 13, which is subject to change in a final rule expected in late spring.

The first Wave and its associated tools, now available, cover the following meaningful use criteria: Maintain up-to-date problem list, maintain active medication list, record and chart vital signs, smoking status, and computerized provider order entry. Draft test procedures on these criteria are available at

More information is available at An overview of the test methods and the four Waves is available at  The implementation support and testing Web site is at

--Joseph Goedert


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