The Office of the National Coordinator has published a 20-item Frequently Asked Questions document about the temporary electronic health record certification program, and there are some interesting questions and answers.

For instance, ONC acknowledges it made an error adopting certain implementation specifications and soon will issue an interim final rule to remove the specifications. In the Code of Federal Regulations, the error is at 24 CFR 170.205(d)(2). The Department of Health and Human Services adopted specific specifications to clarify how to use an EHR to electronically record, modify, retrieve and submit syndrome-based public health surveillance information. But the specifications were not designed for EHR users, but to guide public health agencies on how to report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Another question covers what happens if an EHR vendor informs customers it will not seek certification for a specific version of its product. The submitter wanted to know if a user or group of users could seek and pay for certification of the specific EHR version, and, once certified, if other users of that version could rely on the certification? The answer to both questions, from ONC, is yes.

To access the complete FAQ, click here.

--Joseph Goedert


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