What to Expect When You’re Done Expecting ONC’s Final Rule

Steven Posnack | October 16, 2015

I know you might be wondering, “what’s next?” now that ONC’s 2015 Edition final rule has formally published in the Federal Register.

This milestone kicks off the next phase of our work to implement the 2015 Edition’s regulatory requirements. Starting next week and over the next few weeks, ONC will be releasing two types of documents to immediately help jumpstart health IT development efforts to the 2015 Edition.

The first (new) set of documents called “Certification Companion Guides (CCGs)” is a byproduct of our “kaizen” and stakeholder outreach throughout the year. The CCGs are designed to help health IT developers more quickly understand and interpret our regulatory requirements so that they can focus on product development. Going forward, there will be a CCG for each certification criterion that distills in one place each criterion’s regulatory history, requirements, and any subsequent clarifications.  The CCGs will be updated on an as-needed basis.

The second set of documents includes draft 2015 Edition Test Procedures for each certification criterion, which will be published for stakeholder feedback and a 30-day comment period. We intend to publish Test Procedures for comment at the same time as their associated CCG is published.

Additionally, over the next few weeks our colleagues at NIST will begin to make available “alpha” versions of 2015 Edition testing tools for early feedback and pilot testing.  Earlier availability of test tools was another request we have done our best to respond to for the 2015 Edition.

Last but not least, we’ll be engaged with our authorized certification bodies, testing labs, and their respective accreditors to conduct training sessions on new regulatory requirements.

All of these steps illustrate our commitment to continually implement improvements to the ONC Health IT Certification Program. Your feedback has and will continue to make a difference.