The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has announced it has selected the first two organizations authorized to certify e-health record (EHR) products for eligibility in the federal government's meaningful use programs.
The two organizations named as authorized testing and certification bodies (ATCBs) are the Certification Commission for Health IT (CCHIT), and Drummond Group (DGI).
CCHIT is already a familiar name in health IT certification circles. The organization, based in Chicago, until now had been the health IT industry's only group certifying electronic healthcare products since the mid 2000s.
DGI is a software testing lab in Austin, Texas.
On its website, the ONC said certification by an ATCB, "will signify to eligible professionals, hospitals, and critical access hospitals that an EHR technology has the capabilities necessary to support their efforts to meet the goals and objectives of meaningful use."
In addition to meeting a long list of other related criteria, doctors and hospitals must use certified EHR products in order to qualify for the more than $20 billion in federal subsidies being allocated by the HITECH Act of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the meaningful use of health IT.