Today, the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology is announcing the opening of the pilot phase of a new health information exchange compliance testing program at the HIMSS 2013 Annual Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans; it also will reveal the program seals designed to help healthcare providers identify health information exchange (HIE) certified technology, and demonstrate its automated testing tool for vendors.
At completion, the HIE compliance testing and certification program components include the following:
1) HIE Certified Community™, for electronic health records (EHRs) and other health IT systems, that will enable state-wide patient data inquiry allowing clinicians to query an HIE for information on specific patients
2) HIE Certified Direct™ that provides a simple way for providers to send secure health information directly to trusted recipients, including patients, over the Internet
3) HIE Certified Network™ for HIE-to-HIE connectivity and for connection to the eHealth Exchange
Certification will be specific to each technology and its version, and include testing of commercially available products, healthcare provider participants and health information exchanges.
“For the first time providers and purchasers of EHRs and HIE will have a simple way of assuring their system has all the capabilities required for plug and play interoperability,” said Dave Whitlinger, Executive Director of the New York eHealth Collaborative. “In New York, vendors will be required to pass the compliance testing program in order to connect to the SHIN-NY (the Statewide Health Information of New York).”
The planned pilot testing – for HIE Certified Network – is the first offering of a collaboration of states, public agencies, federally funded HIEs and HIT companies covering more than 50 percent of the U.S. population. Healtheway, the public-private partnership of the eHealth Exchange, and the EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup, a consortium of states and vendors, established the program to test and certify EHRs and other health IT to enable reliable transfer of data within and across organizational and state boundaries. CCHIT was selected as the compliance testing body by the partnership. The pilot will begin soon after the HIMSS meeting, and the launch of the certification program is planned for late in the spring.
“We’re creating a robust, highly automated testing program using an open source version of the AEGIS Developers Integration Lab (DIL) tool that relies on a set of specifications created by the partnership. Our aim is to enable true plug and play connectivity to simplify HIT development and reduce the cost of interface development,” said Alisa Ray, Executive Director and CEO, CCHIT. “This will help health IT developers get their technology to market quickly and prepare provider and HIE participants share information more efficiently.”
EHR developers and others can view a demonstration of CCHIT’s testing software at the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase (Kiosk 17-7, La Nouvelle Ballroom–Level 2).
“The certification program also will support a recently announced collaboration between Healtheway and the Care Connectivity Consortium (CCC), combining Healtheway’s robust network services expertise with the advanced patient-centered care technology and commitment to health IT innovation of CCC,” said Mariann Yeager, Healtheway’s Executive Director. “The collaboration will support IT interoperability among more than 40 health provider organizations across the nation, including founders Geisinger Health System (PA), Group Health Cooperative (WA), Intermountain Healthcare (UT), Kaiser Permanente (CA), and Mayo Clinic (MN).”