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ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies Named

August 30, 2010 News 9 Comments

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has named two ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ATCBs). They are Certification Commission for Health Information Technology of Chicago, IL and Drummond Group, Inc. of Austin, TX.

Authorized by the National Coordinator, ONC-ATCBs are required to test and certify that certain types of EHR technology (Complete EHRs and EHR Modules) are compliant with the standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria adopted by the HHS Secretary and meet the definition of “certified EHR technology.”

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Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. It’s great that there is finally competition for certification. It’s great that somebody finally said NO to HIMSS and their desire for a monopoly on certification. Congratulations to ONC!

  2. Interesting that Drummond is willing to hire entry level testers for their new program. http://www.drummondgroup.com/html-v2/careers.html

    * Diploma/Degree in an IT related field (preferably Computer Science)
    * Fresh Graduates are welcome to apply
    * Experience in Smart Grid or Healthcare Industry will be advantageous
    * Experience working in a software development environment with practical experience
    * Possess strong analytical and writing skills
    * Training in Java, C++ and XML is a big plus

  3. “Fresh Graduates are welcome to apply” – Training in Java, C++ and XML is a big plus

    Are they going to be examining code?

  4. This announcement from HHS is so vague.

    First, David Blumenthal testified before Congress recently (can be found on Youtube.com) that at least six companies had asked for applications to begin certification. So the first question, were there only two applications received by HHS (CCHIT and Drummond) or were others received but denied by HHS? If others were submitted, how were the two chosen?

    Second, David Blumenthal has yet to explain what exactly the certification process entails. CCHIT has a pass/fail certification, and no records are kept for certification. What has HHS spelled out for both Drummond and CCHIT? Is HHS demanding records be kept?

    Third, CCHIT was created by H. Stephen Lieber of HIMSS.org, who also created the EHRA, whose vendors currently “certify” with CCHIT. CCHIT has a monopoly on certification with the backing of the EHRA, so how can Drummond compete?

    Fourth, Alisa Ray recently admitted at an NIST conference that CCHIT’s laboratory was a “virtual” laboratory. CCHIT also has a virtual office located at 200 S. Wacker Dr in Chicago. Does anyone from HHS: Sebelius, Blumenthal or any other staff, plan to take tours of the facilities for both CCHIT and Drummond? Will HHS demand an audit of staff (including contractors) and expenses, pricing, etc so Drummond has a fair chance to compete?

    Our tax dollars have been wasted on HIT, according to the Congressional Budget Office, with little effect on adoption of HIT. It would be great if Congress could stop the waste BEFORE it happens, rather than in a report years after the fact that states there was government waste in HIT.

    A simple trip to Chicago to view CCHIT’s virtual office would clarify everything. Then HHS and Congress could sort out rumors from the truth.

    With all the comments submitted about certification on the Federal Register, David Blumenthal cannot pretend he does not know that there is great concern regarding tax payer fraud regarding certification grants.

    Thank you, Mr. Histalk, for keeping us informed of events as they develop!

  5. Has any one seen the job descriptions and qualifications needed to becom a CCHIT employee to certify these systems that have life and death responsibilities for patients? Please post if you do.

    If I may ask, do either organization consider usability and safety in its menu of evaluation?

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