Calling all Beta Testers: New Opportunity to help ONC Update the Inferno Test Tool

John Bender and Jeff Smith | January 27, 2022

Beginning March 2022, Inferno, ONC’s test tool for the “standardized API for patient and population services” certification criterion, will support beta testing for the Health Level Seven (HL7®) Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) US Core Implementation Guide (IG) 4.0.0. This new version is expected to include several enhancements from version 3.1.1 and we’re looking for early feedback from health IT developers who are interested in using the new version in the future as part of Inferno testing. We’d also note, the US Core IG 4.0.0 is currently under consideration for the 2022 Standards Version Advancement Process (SVAP), and we encourage public feedback on whether ONC should approve the 4.0.0 version for use in ONC’s Health IT Certification Program (you can comment via the SVAP link above).

Since adopting HL7® FHIR® Release 4.0.1 and the FHIR US Core Implementation Guide (IG) STU 3.1.0 in the May 2020 ONC Cures Act Final Rule, ONC has worked closely with the health IT developer community to ensure that Inferno correctly reflects the US Core IG. For example, we updated Inferno to test against the US Core version 3.1.1 IG as referenced in our December 2020 Interim Final Rule and updated the API Certification Companion Guide to provide clarifications for 170.315(g)(10), which are a direct result of Inferno testing feedback.

The process to create and refine the US Core IG is well-established and supported by industry. Much of what we’ve learned through implementing US Core version 3.1.1 in Inferno has been instrumental to the expedited development of US Core IG version 4.0.0 and the enhancements it includes. This kind of iteration and feedback loop between implementers and standards developers is a feature of FHIR as well as our testing approach, not a bug.

We expect that this beta testing will inform how Inferno tests using US Core IG version 4.0.0. We recognize that US Core IG version 4.0.0 is an important steppingstone from the current 3.1.1 IG to future IGs. We hope you’ll consider joining this effort and work with us to help improve Inferno for the future.

If you’re interested in participating in this beta testing opportunity, please let us know and we’ll provide additional updates in the coming weeks.