ONC Posts 2015 Edition Test Procedures for Public Comment and Additional Guidance for Health IT Developers

Steven Posnack | October 22, 2015

On October 16, 2015, ONC’s 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria final rule published the Federal Register. That milestone has kicked-off a burst of activity necessary to formalize the 2015 Edition testing and certification processes.

Throughout the year we have worked with stakeholders to make changes to the Health IT Certification Program’s operations. These changes have focused on increasing consistent communication and reducing confusion and complexity. Many ideas shared by attendees at the February 2015 “kaizen” and throughout the year are now coming to life.

For the first time, ONC has published a set of “Certification Companion Guides” along with this final rule. The Certification Companion Guides (CCGs for short) are designed help health IT developers more quickly understand and interpret our regulatory requirements so that they can focus on product development. A CCG has been developed for each certification criterion and will serve as the single, consolidated information source for any clarifications related to a certification criterion.

Simultaneously, ONC is going to be publishing (on a rolling basis) 2015 Edition test procedures for comment. The 2015 Edition test procedures follow a new outcome-focused format based on stakeholder feedback. Test procedures will have a 30-day comment period from their publication date (and can be accessed here). Similar to the open and transparent approach we administered with test procedures associated with the 2015 Edition notice of proposed rulemaking, stakeholders will be able to comment on test procedures online and all comments will be visible.

CCGs will not undergo a formal public comment period, but we encourage stakeholders to keep CCGs handy as they read through the Final Rule and review test procedures. CCGs will be updated as necessary based on questions, requests for clarification, and testing experiences.

Please send any feedback on the CCGs to the ONC Health IT Certification Program via ONC.Certification@hhs.gov with “CCG” in the subject line.