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Certification of Electronic Health Records Essay

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The federal government has taken deliberate steps to ensure that EHR systems are strong, secure, and able to communicate with each other. “Certification” is a way to enforce standards. Hospitals, doctors and other eligible practitioners can earn incentive fees under the meaningful use program, by adopting certain standards and earning certification. EHRs are certified after passing tests of their functionality, reliability, security, and compliance with the standards. Certification provides assurance to purchasers and other users that an EHR system offers the necessary technological capability, functionality, and security to help them meet the meaningful use criteria established. Providers and patients must also be confident that the…show more content…
The five underlying principles that drive meaningful use are defined as: • Improving quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare; • Engaging patients in their care; • Increasing coordination of care; • Improving the health status of the population; and • Ensuring privacy and security of health information. The initial proposals defining meaningful use and defining the standards for certification of the EHR were published in the Federal Register on January 13, 2010, by CMS and ONC (Office of the National Coordinator) respectively, while the final rules for the certification criteria and for the EHR incentive programs were published on July 28, 2011. Collectively, this legislation establishes criteria for EHR certification, the metrics for meaningful use of a certified EHR, and a timeline for incentive payments that began in 2011. Requirements for the meaningful use of the EHR began to be implemented in three stages. In stage one, which began in 2011, the eligible providers (EPs) and eligible hospitals (EHs) were required to be able to collect and share patient data. Beginning in 2013, stage two necessitated meaningful use requirements to include
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