Health IT Policy Committee Hearing To Consider Certification Program Optimization

Lee Stevens | May 1, 2014

On May 7th, the Health IT Policy Committee will hold a public hearing on the ONC Health IT Certification Program in Washington, DC.  Providers, health information exchange organizations, technology developers, certification bodies and testing labs will discuss lessons learned, the attributes of an ideal certification program, how it can be improved going forward, and how we should measure success.

The hearing is part of ONC’s efforts to review the certification program’s structure, processes, and outcomes. Now that the Health IT Certification Program has been operating for almost two years, we want to assess what is working, what isn’t working, and how we can optimize program activities in the future.

One key consideration for the future includes improved methods for gathering public expertise to support testing.  As such, we are seeking input on a new way of developing test procedures, which we are calling “open test procedure development.”  Under this proposal, any interested stakeholder would be able to contribute their expertise through a collaborative process to assemble test methods (procedures, data, and tools) for the certification program.  Our expectation is that this approach will enable the certification program to incorporate insight into testing scenarios and certification approaches that better reflect clinical workflows and real-world use of health information technology.

Similarly, ONC has been looking at ways to reduce the burden of certification while maintaining program integrity.  This week’s hearing will include industry and certification experts, as well as an opportunity for public comment, designed to identify key challenges and potential solutions.

If you are a stakeholder involved in the certification process, we encourage you to engage in this important activity.  Please leave your thoughts and comments in the section below and/or participate in the public hearing this Wednesday, May 7.  You can find details on how to participate at:  http://www.healthit.gov/FACAS/calendar/2014/05/07/policy-certification-hearing.

Visit the FACA meeting calendar for upcoming meetings.