The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Health IT Certification Program is a voluntary certification program established by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to provide for the certification of health IT standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria adopted by the Secretary. The ONC Health IT Certification Program supports the availability of certified health IT for its encouraged and required use under other federal, state and private programs. The Program is run as a third-party product conformity assessment scheme for health information technology (health IT) based on the principles of the International Standards Organization (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) framework.
ONC launched the Program in 2010 to support the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs (EHR Incentive Programs) administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). While the EHR Incentive Programs continue to require the use of certified health IT, the use of certified health IT has expanded to other government and non-government programs. Similarly, the Program has evolved and now also supports other health IT adoption, interoperability, and care quality improvement initiatives. This evolution has been demonstrated as the Program has released several editions of certification criteria and expanded program requirements. These new editions of certification criteria include more robust functional and interoperability requirements, ONC-ACB in-the-field surveillance expectations, and cost transparency and disclosure requirements for health IT developers’ certified health IT. These additional disclosure requirements have been adopted to ensure users of certified health IT are fully informed about certain types of limitations and additional costs associated with the ability to implement or use certified health IT in a manner consistent with its certification.
The graphic below shows the organizational structure of the ONC Health IT Certification Program. As illustrated, ONC manages the overall program while working with other agencies and entities in the following capacities: