What is a certified EHR?

What is a certified EHR?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has established standards for independent physicians to qualify for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. To be eligible for the incentive payments, providers “must use an EHR that is certified specifically for the EHR Incentive Programs.” Additionally, CMS states, EHR certification “helps providers and patients be confident that the electronic health IT products and systems they use are secure, can maintain data confidentially, and can work with other systems to share information.”

What does it mean for an EHR to be certified? An electronic health record (EHR) system must meet certain standards in order to be certified. Specifically, the EHR must meet the functional and security requirements as well as meaningful use criteria as established by CMS.

Certification is achieved when a company such as the Drummond Group assesses the capability of the tested product and determines that it meets all the established criteria.  Drummond Group began testing their first EHR solutions in September 2010, and since then has tested hundreds of EHR systems. A Drummond Certified™ seal serves as an important resource for independent providers and healthcare organizations who are looking to invest in EHR software and who need to meet the meaningful use criteria.

When Drummond applies its seal, it guarantees that the EHR meets industry standards and that it is interoperable, a very important function for primary care physicians and specialty providers. An EHR system cannot receive the Drummond seal without undergoing rigorous testing. The Drummond Group tests the EHR throughout its lifecycle including auditing, quality assurance, conformance testing, customer software test lab services, software certification, web service tests, and consulting.

A certified EHR system comes with a guarantee of operability and assures the independent physician of compliance, reliability, and adherence to industry standards. With meaningful use requirements and incentive payments becoming more significant challenges as CMS moves toward value-based reimbursements, choosing a certified EHR for an independent physician’s practice is imperative.