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What Does it Mean to be ONC Certified and Why Does It Matter?

 In chiropractic software

In today’s digital age, technology has become a cornerstone of our daily lives, and this is particularly evident in the healthcare sector. Medical practices now require robust and secure methods for data management. Advanced Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems are pivotal in this regard, enabling the efficient exchange and management of patient information, as well as streamlining administrative tasks.

The healthcare sector’s growth has prompted the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to define specific criteria for EHR systems. These criteria ensure that such systems are structured effectively to gain certification. EHR providers, including Genesis, have the option to submit their products for ONC’s evaluation and certification.

Understanding ONC Certification The ONC’s Health IT Certification Program was initiated under the Public Health Service Act. This program aims to establish benchmarks within the rapidly evolving domain of health information technology. EHR systems undergo rigorous testing by independent third parties, focusing on their ability to record, secure, and share information. Certification is granted only to those systems that adhere to the ONC’s stringent standards.

For medical practitioners, using an ONC-certified EHR system is essential to qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments. This certification also instills confidence in both healthcare providers and patients regarding the secure and efficient handling of health information.

ONC’s Trusted Partners Accreditation Laboratories and Certification Bodies The ONC collaborates with a select group of laboratories for the certification process. Currently, these include:

  1. Drummond Group
  2. ICSA Labs
  3. InfoGard Laboratories, Inc.
  4. SLI Compliance, a Division of Gaming Laboratories International, LLC

These labs, with their diverse expertise, including in healthcare, are responsible for the thorough testing and certification of EHR systems. For instance, Drummond Group, has successfully tested and certified Genesis under the 2015 Edition Health IT Module.

Impact on Healthcare Professionals and Patients The involvement of independent laboratories in testing EHR software ensures that medical professionals are not solely reliant on the claims of service providers. Only EHR systems that meet the high standards of security, reliability, and functionality achieve ONC certification. This assures healthcare staff and physicians that their chosen software adheres to the highest Health IT standards.

Adopting an ONC-certified EHR system also has financial benefits for medical practices. It enables them to avoid Medicare payment penalties and secure Medicaid incentive payments, while simplifying processes for both staff and patients.

Patients, too, stand to gain from the widespread adoption of these certified systems. EHRs simplify healthcare management and enhance the security of personal health information, ensuring privacy and peace of mind.