In 2010, the transformation of health systems will improve health care quality, efficiency, equity and safety through the use of Health Information Technology (HIT). This will lead to measurable improvement in our nation’s health. The meaningful use of technology is central to the modernization of our health system. In the Interim Final rule (IFR) on Standards and Certification Criteria issued today, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has published an initial set of standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria.
In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) outlined provisions governing the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic health record (EHR) incentive programs. These included a proposed definition for the concept of “meaningful use” of EHR technology. It is essential that professionals and hospitals are able to demonstrate meaningful use of a certified EHR system in order to be eligible to receive payments under the incentive program which are provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Certifications in the IFR are organized into four categories: Content Exchange Standards, Vocabulary Standards, Transport Standards and Privacy and Security Standards. The criteria are designed to be supportive of the staged meaningful use requirements while also laying the foundation for future growth in information exchange and technological innovation. Meaningful use requirements are expected to become more demanding over time as our industry continues to spur adoption through its innovative offerings. An incremental approach to standards adoption requires harmonization with current and future standards to come.
Both the IFR and NPRM can be found at: