Health care providers use the data stored in a structured way in an EHR to record, share, retrieve, and transfer patient data to aid patient care. Here one needs to know that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency within the Department of the Health and Human Services (HHS) of the US, administers the nation’s major healthcare programs.
The (CMS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, along with Office of the National Coordinator for the Health Information Technology (ONC) have established specific standards and some criteria for the structured data usability of the EHRs to qualify in the Promoting Interoperability Programs.
A Certified EHR system
The Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary requires the EHRs to demonstrate the technological functionality, capability, and security requirements. Upon fulfilling these requirements, the EHR system receives a certification from the Office of National Coordinator (ONC) and thus becomes a certified EHR.
The Office of the National Coordinator working for the Health Information Technology (ONC) is authorized to work on Health IT by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The ONC regulation for certifying the EHR looks into the improvement of healthcare quality, safety, and efficiency through the promotion of Health IT through maintaining electronic health records EHRs and private and secure health information exchange systems.
Benefits of ONC Certification
ONC certification for any EHR provides excellent support for its adoption as a health information technology and promotes nationwide health information exchange for healthcare improvement. The Top 3 benefits of ONC Certification include:
- ONC certification, along with Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT), gives the clients assurance that an EHR system or module provides the necessary technological functionality, capability, and security. It also provides financial incentives to meet the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology by supporting the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.
- ONC certification assures the clients and patients that electronic health site production systems are secure, maintain data confidentiality, and integrate with other systems to share information.
- EHRs with ONC certification can exchange health information electronically for providing high quality and safe care for the patients while creating substantial improvement in the organization towards better management of patients and healthcare.