The temporary electronic health records certification program being developed this summer likely will be in existence for only about 18 months, but certifiers could get busy in a hurry.

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology estimates approximately 93 commercial and open source Complete EHRs, and 50 EHR Modules, need to be tested and certified under the temporary program, according to the final rule setting up the program.

Self-developed EHRs also will be certified. ONC estimates only about eight large group practices with at least 50 physicians and 30 hospitals may seek to have their in-house systems certified. "We believe that this estimate is generous and that a good portion of the eligible professionals and hospitals who would likely seek to qualify for incentive payments with self-developed Complete EHRs could only do so for meaningful use Stage 1," according to the rule. Efforts to maintain homegrown systems to comply with later meaningful use stages likely would be time and cost prohibitive, regulators believe.

The rule establishing a temporary EHR certification program is available for now at, and will be published June 24 in the Federal Register.

--Joseph Goedert


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