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ICSA Labs Enters Into Agreement with CCHIT for EHR Testing, Certification

With the news of third-party health IT testing body The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) announcing its new strategic direction, CCHIT is recommending its customers work with ICSA Labs to assist them in maintaining or updating ONC 2014 Edition certifications, or applying for new testing services.

According to Alisa Ray, CCHIT executive director, CCHIT chose ICSA Labs, an independent division of Verizon Enterprise Solutions, and an ONC-Authorized Certification body and Accredited HIT Test Laboratory, to support its customers because of the expertise of its staff and its processes. CCHIT will assist and support its customers as services are transferred.

CCHIT announced today (Jan. 29) that it will no longer offer ONC testing and certification services. Instead, CCHIT stated the organization is returning to its founding public mission of supporting the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology.

“It’s an honor and testament to the market that CCHIT has placed their confidence in ICSA Labs to deliver a high-quality testing and certification service to those in the health IT community,” said George Japak, managing director, ICSA Labs. “As an independent testing lab, we are looking forward to servicing the needs of CCHIT customers and helping them achieve or maintain their Health IT testing and certification requirements.”

Over the past few years, ICSA Labs has been building out its capacity, infrastructure and talent pool to meet the growing demands of the healthcare IT industry. As a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) Accredited Health IT Testing Laboratory and an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Accredited and ONC-Authorized Certification Body for EHR Technology, ICSA Labs is leading the charge through programs such as ONC Certified HIT 2014 Edition, IHE USA Certification and mobile health security testing to drive healthcare IT interoperability.

Since its testing program began in 2011, ICSA Labs has certified more than 200 EHR products with the goal to accelerate the adoption of health IT.

Learn more about what our customers are saying about ICSA Labs at https://www.icsalabs.com/technology-program/customer-testimonials.

January 29, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

First to Market Nationwide Launch of E-Prescribing of Controlled Substances with EPCS Gold(TM) 2.0 by DrFirst, Inc.

Today, DrFirst, Inc. announced an innovative product that fulfills the company’s commitment to deliver a simple, secure, and affordable way to send controlled substance prescriptions electronically with the launch of EPCS Gold™ version 2.0 (Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances).

Rockville, MD (PRWEB) July 27, 2011

Today, DrFirst, Inc. announced an innovative product that fulfills the company’s commitment to deliver a simple, secure, and affordable way to send controlled substance prescriptions electronically with the launch of EPCS Gold™ version 2.0 (Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances). EPCS Gold™ is fully certified to meet the prescription processing requirements set by Surescripts, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) requirements enforced through the Interim Final Rule (IFR), and the Identity Proofing requirements set by NIST, and is now available to all eligible providers nationwide.

In 2009, physicians in Berkshire County, MA began utilizing DrFirst’s EPCS 1.0 in a pilot program funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) under the auspices of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and a waiver from the DEA. Through this pilot program, DrFirst was the first and only e-prescribing company to publically demonstrate the nation’s first end-to-end EPCS system. DrFirst was able to apply both the learnings from this pilot and the requirements outlined in the DEA’s Interim Final Rule (IRF) to substantially enhance EPCS Gold™ for the 2.0 version of the product.

Prescribers enrolling for EPCS Gold™ will be able to send controlled substance prescriptions electronically after a simple credentialing and identity-proofing process with DrFirst. After providers are certified, they can begin e-prescribing Schedule II-V drugs based on their individual state laws and the ability of the receiving pharmacy to meet the DEA’s requirements to process these prescriptions. To avoid any confusion and eliminate guesswork by providers, EPCS Gold™ automatically detects which substances can be sent electronically.

“As the originators of controlled substance e-prescribing for physicians, we are excited to be the first to market with a true nationwide offering. Version 2.0 of EPCS Gold™ reflects DrFirst’s expertise in security through a design that provides a straightforward and inexpensive solution for both providers and health IT vendors,” said President of DrFirst, G. Cameron Deemer. “We’re encouraging doctors to begin moving forward on the credentialing process and to begin contacting their local pharmacies to let them know they’re ready to send controlled substances electronically.”

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Electronic Health Record (EHR) vendors are invited to partner with DrFirst to offer this groundbreaking product to their clients and avoid the developmental, certification and auditing costs required to conform to the DEA’s guidelines.

DrFirst will be offering the first 500 qualified providers free registration (i.e., identity proofing, token distribution, logical access control) and a one-year subscription to EPCS Gold™ 2.0 service in celebration of this historic milestone in medical history.

What Are Controlled Substances?
Controlled substances are drugs or other substances that are regulated under federal law depending on medical use, potential for abuse, and addictiveness.

  •     Schedule I: High abuse potential, no medical use, considered unsafe
  •     Schedule II: High abuse potential, approved for medical use, has severe dependence risk
  •     Schedule III: Lower abuse potential, approved for medical use, has moderate or low dependence risk
  •     Schedule IV: Relatively low potential, approved for medical use, limited dependence risk
  •     Schedule V: Drugs that are cough medicines with codeine

The five “schedules” of drugs are not the same as the five “classes” of drugs, which organizes drugs according to their main properties. The five classes of controlled substance drugs are narcotics, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, and anabolic steroids.
For further information about EPCS Gold™ 2.0, contact DrFirst at (866) 263-6511

About DrFirst

Founded in 2000, DrFirst is the nation’s leading e-prescribing provider to physician practices, major health plans, health systems, hospitals, and EHR vendors. Through its Open Borders Program, DrFirst solutions are widely integrated with over 170 HIT systems. A Surescripts Gold Certified solution provider for four consecutive years with its award-winning Rcopia electronic prescription management system, DrFirst utilizes the Surescripts network for pharmacy connectivity, health plan information, and patient medication history. Certain DrFirst solutions can qualify users for government incentive programs such as MIPPA, PQRI/PQRS, and ARRA HITECH/Meaningful Use of EHR. For more information, visit http://www.drfirst.com. Keep up to date on DrFirst news at http://blog.drfirst.com/ or follow us on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/drfirst.

July 31, 2011 I Written By

GE Healthcare Announces New Solutions to Support EMR Meaningful Use

Centricity Practice Solution 10, Centricity Patient Online 12 Unveiled at HIMSS11 Conference
ORLANDO– Feb 21, 2011 – At the annual meeting of the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) in Orlando this week, GE Healthcare announced two new Electronic Medical Record (EMR) solutions that have been certified for meaningful use. Centricity* Practice Solution 10 and Centricity Patient Online 12 are enhancements to existing EMR solutions from GE Healthcare that will help customers achieve Meaningful Use and go beyond, meeting the needs of clinicians and patients with elegant design, intuitive workflows and easy-to-use features.

“2011 will be a critical year for adopting meaningful use and GE Healthcare continues to lead the way by delivering solutions that can help healthcare providers easily and quickly achieve their goals,” said Jim Corrigan, Vice President and General Manager of GE Healthcare IT. “Our broad solution portfolio offers healthcare providers the tools they need to lower costs and gain better control of the information in their practices – whether they are working a small primary care practice or a large academic hospital or something in between.”

Centricity Practice Solution 10
Centricity Practice Solution 10 is the evolution of GE Healthcare’s fully integrated EMR and practice management system for physician practices. Centricity Practice Solution 10 now has embedded reports that providers can use to track their progress toward becoming “meaningful users.” This new version has already attained 2011/2012 Meaningful Use Stage I certification as a complete EHR from CCHIT®**. Leveraging the quality improvement and reporting capabilities that have long been part of GE Healthcare’s Medical Quality Improvement Consortium (MQIC), Centricity Practice Solution 10 customers will continue to be at the forefront of quality benchmarking through access to powerful and convenient reporting for Meaningful Use, PQRI, NCQA and other incentive-driven reporting initiatives. Centricity Practice Solution customers will now able to track the clinical quality measures for Meaningful Use, and also have improved data to drive quality care for their patients.

Centricity Practice Solution 10 features a welcoming design and easy navigation based on extensive research with EMR users. Robust without being overwhelming, each screen provides just the right amount of information, clearly demarcated so busy doctors can focus on just the patient data that’s needed at each moment – which can improve real, ongoing adoption of digital medical records. The solution is currently being implemented by several early-adopter customers. GE Healthcare expects the product to be generally-available in the second calendar quarter of 2011.

Centricity Patient Online 12
GE Healthcare is demonstrating Centricity Patient Online 12, a new release of the company’s established Patient Portal technology, at HIMSS11. Centricity Patient Online creates a single channel of communications that extends the provider workflow to the patient’s home to help reduce costs, enhance quality, and increase access to care. Centricity Patient Online 12 also helps providers meet Meaningful Use Stage 1 required and menu-pick rulings with many new capabilities. These include the ability to give patients an electronic copy of their health information upon request, to provide timely electronic access to the patient’s health information (including lab results, problem list, medication lists and medication allergies) within four business days of the information being available to the provider, to provide clinical summaries for patients for each office visit and to offer patient-specific educational resources. Centricity Patient Online 12 is generally available today.

Additional GE Healthcare Solutions Certified for Meaningful Use
GE Healthcare also announced that two more of its solutions recently achieved Meaningful Use certification. Centricity Enterprise 6.9 is 2011/2012 compliant and was certified as a complete EHR on February 17, 2011 by The Drummond Group***. Centricity Enterprise 6.6.3.2 had been previously announced as a certified Complete Eligible Hospital EHR.**** Centricity EMR 9.5, which is expected to be available in early Q2, is also 2011/2012 compliant and was certified as a Complete EHR on October 28, 2010 by the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT ®)*****. GE Healthcare also previously announced that Centricity Advance, its web-based EMR for smaller physician practices, is 2011/2012 Meaningful Use certified as a complete EHR******.

CCHIT and The Drummond Group made these designations in their capacity as Office of the National Coordinator – Authorized Temporary Certification Bodies (ONC-ATCBs) in accordance with the applicable eligible provider certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Currently-available versions of the company’s specialty solutions, Centricity Perinatal 6.9 and Centricity Perioperative Anesthesia 7.6, have also been submitted to certifying bodies and are expected to achieve modular certification in the first half of 2011. Modular certification indicates that the vendor has passed the mandatory privacy and security tests established by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and supports some of the Meaningful Use objectives. To certify as a modular software vendor, GE Healthcare must meet the same mandatory privacy and security tests as full EHR vendors. Upon successful completion of the modular certification, GE Healthcare will announce the detailed components for which it is certified.

ABOUT GE HEALTHCARE:

GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.

Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com.
For our latest news, please visit http://newsroom.gehealthcare.com
*Centricity is a trademark of General Electric Company.

** Centricity Practice Solution 10 (certification #CC-1112-704359-2) was certified as being substantially equivalent to Centricity Practice Solution version 9.5, which was certified on October 28, 2010 and meets the following clinical quality measures: NQF 0013, NQF 0024, NQF 0028, NQF 0038, NQF 0041, NQF 0059, NQF 0061, NQF 0064, NQF 0421. Additional software used in testing included: SureScripts OR Info Scan, SureScripts via Centricity eScript Messenger, Centricity Clinical Gateway & LinkLogic Interface Engine, Quality Reporting Services & Performance Reporting OR Centricity Practice Solution 9.5 Reports & Performance Reporting, Quality Reporting Services OR Centricity Practice Solutions 9.5 reports, Centricity Practice Patient Portal OR Patient Online, Medispan Drug Database, LinkLogic Interface Enginee.

*** Centricity Enterprise version 6.9 (certification #1028201043218) was certified on February 17, 2011 and meets the following clinical quality measures: NQF0371, NQF0372, NQF0373, NQF0374, NQF0375, NQF0376, NQF0435, NQF0436, NQF0437, NQF0438, NQF0439, NQF0440, NQF0441, NQF0495, NQF0497. No additional software was used in testing.

**** Centricity Enterprise version 6.6.3.2 (certification # 1028201043218) was certified on October 28, 2010 and meets the following clinical quality measures: NQF0495, NQF0497, NQF0435, NQF0436, NQF0437, NQF0438, NQF0439, NQF0440, NQF0441, NQF0371, NQF0372, NQF0373, NQF0374, NQF0375, NQF0376. No additional software was used in testing.

***** Centricity EMR version 9.5 (certification # CC-1112-704359-2) was certified on October 28, 2010 and meets the following clinical quality measures: NQF 0013, NQF 0024, NQF 0028, NQF 0038, NQF 0041, NQF 0059, NQF 0061, NQF 0064, NQF 0421. Additional software used in testing included: SureScripts OR Info Scan, via Centricity eScript Messenger, Centricity Clinical Gateway & LinkLogic Interface Engine, Quality Reporting Services & Performance Reporting OR Centricity Practice Solution 9.5 Reports & Performance Reporting, Quality Reporting Services OR Centricity Practice Solutions 9.5 reports, Centricity Practice Patient Portal OR Patient Online, Medispan Drug Database, LinkLogic Interface Engine.

****** Centricity Advance version 10.1 (certification # CC-1112-470465-1) was certified as a Complete EHR on October 1, 2010 and meets the following clinical quality measures: NQF 0013, NQF 0024, NQF 0028, NQF 0031, NQF 0034, NQF 0038, NQF 0041, NQF 0064, NQF 0421.
2011/2012 certification does not represent an endorsement of the certified EHR technology by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services nor does it guarantee the receipt of incentive payments.
“CCHIT®” and “CCHIT Certified®” are registered trademarks of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.
___________________________________________________

February 23, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

ONC Issues Final Rule for Permanent Certification Program for EMR

ONC Issues Final Rule for Permanent Certification Program for Health Information Technology

Steps to create permanent health IT certification program underway

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today issued a final rule to establish the permanent certification program for health information technology. The permanent certification program provides new features that will enhance the certification of health information technology, including increasing the comprehensiveness, transparency, reliability, and efficiency of the current processes used for the certification of electronic health record (EHR) technology. Meaningful use of “Certified EHR Technology” is a core requirement for eligible health care providers who seek to qualify to receive incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs as authorized by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

“This final rule completes the two-phased approach ONC began with the proposed rule issued in Spring 2010 and includes several important improvements to our certification processes,” said David Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.P., national coordinator for health information technology. “Our goal is to make the transition to the permanent certification program as seamless as possible.”

The temporary certification program, established through a final rule published on June 24, 2010, will continue to be in effect until it sunsets on December 31, 2011, or at a later date when the processes necessary for the permanent certification program to operate are completed. ONC expects to stand-up the programmatic activities necessary to implement the permanent certification program throughout 2011.

Features of the permanent certification program include:
Organizations must first be accredited in order to test and/or certify health information technology;
Certification bodies authorized by the National Coordinator (ONC-Authorized Certification Bodies or ONC-ACBs) are required to conduct post-certification surveillance; and
ONC-ACBs are permitted to perform “gap certification.”

As proposed, ONC will request that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) through its National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) develop a laboratory accreditation program for organizations to be accredited to test health information technology for purposes of the permanent certification program. Based on NIST’s technical expertise and the strong relationship formed between ONC and NIST during the successful implementation of the temporary certification program, the use of NVLAP is expected to enhance testing under the permanent certification program and its objectivity overall.

This final rule is issued under the authority provided to the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in section 3001(c)(5) of the Public Health Service Act, as added by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act.
For more information about the permanent certification program and the final rule, please visit http://healthit.hhs.gov/certification.

For more information about the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, please visit http://healthit.hhs.gov.

January 4, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.

NIST Partners with ONC and AHRQ to Deliver Guidance on Electronic Health Record (EHR) Usability

Two new publications from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are intended to help developers of software and computer systems for doctors’ offices, clinics, and hospitals improve the ease of use of electronic health records (EHRs). These publications are part of a federal effort, led by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to help providers adopt and use EHRs that can bring about broad quality improvements and cost savings in the health care system.

Efforts to improve the usability* of EHRs are widely recognized as key to achieving widespread adoption and meaningful use of these systems. A recent report prepared by the HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) identified gaps in the processes and practices used by EHR vendors to ensure the usability of their products. One key finding from the report highlighted the lack of standard approaches and formats for testing and reporting usability of EHR products across the industry.

In coordination with its federal partners, NIST published the following guides to support EHR system developers in demonstrating evidence of the use of key elements of user-centered-design principles and to support standard approaches in evaluating and comparing the usability of EHR systems.
NIST Guide to the Processes Approach for Improving the Usability of Electronic Health Records(NISTIR 7741) provides guidance on employing “user-centered-design” processes throughout an EHR product life cycle.

User-centered design focuses of understanding user needs, designing user interfaces on the basis of known human behavior principles, conducting usability tests, and enhancing designs and features until usability objectives are met.

Customized Common Industry Format Template for Electronic Health Record Usability Testing(NISTIR 7742) provides a standard reporting format (known as the Common User Industry format) adopted and customized for testing EHR systems.

These documents and other materials related to NIST activities to advance EHR usability are available here, under publications.

AHRQ research related to EHR usability is available here.

*The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) defines usability as the “effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction with which the intended users can achieve their tasks in the intended context of product use.”

December 16, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit.