ONC revokes certification of 2 EHRs approved for MU

The U.S. Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has revoked the certifications of two electronic health record (EHR) systems that were approved for the meaningful use (MU) electronic health incentive program.

The EHR systems, EHRMagic-Ambulatory and EHRMagic-Inpatient, were developed by EHRMagic of Santa Fe Springs, CA. They had been certified by information assurance and security company InfoGard Laboratories. InfoGard received authorization in January 2013 to be an ONC Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB), with the authority to test and certify complete EHR software and modules designed to meet ONC's 2014 criteria.

Both ONC and InfoGard received notifications that EHRMagic's products did not meet the functionality required by the MU program. When InfoGard retested the products to determine if they meet certain requirements, both systems failed, according to an April 25 press release issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Carol Bean, director of ONC's Office of Certification, and Program Analyst Asara Clark explained on ONC's blog how the agency addresses complaints. ONC is currently developing guidance on the surveillance of certified MU software for both users and ONC-ATCBs. The document will provide guidelines on time frames, reports, and records for complaints, random audits, and reactive surveillance by ONC.

"We want to be clear, the Office of Certification's role doesn't stop after EHR certification," they wrote. "The doctors, hospitals, and other providers that are adopting -- and have already adopted -- EHRs deserve this and should feel confident that the tools they are using are up to the job of helping their patients get the best care possible. If they don't, we want to hear about it."

Their comments mirror those made by ONC director Dr. Farzad Mostashari, a keynote speaker at the 2013 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) meeting held in New Orleans earlier this spring.

While discussing how ONC works to be positive and proactive, Mostashari said it will also bare its teeth and take action when needed. Provocation includes healthcare providers gaming the system, and vendors failing to correct deficiencies of ONC-certified products.

"We have zero tolerance for this," he remarked.

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