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ONC Drafts Health IT Developer Measures for EHR Reporting Program

The draft set of developer measures are for health IT certification through the Cures Act’s EHR reporting program and focus on healthcare interoperability.

ONC has released a draft set of health IT developer measures for the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporting Program’s condition of maintaining ONC health IT certification.

As part of the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016, Congress created the EHR Reporting Program which requires ONC Health IT Certification Program developers to publicly report certain information about their certified health IT products to maintain certification.

The program aims to bolster market competition by making information on certified EHR systems publicly available.

ONC took a dual-track approach to implement the EHR Reporting Program. In 2018, ONC contracted with the Urban Institute to develop the first track: voluntary, user-reported measures related to certified health IT usability, interoperability, and security. These measures are now available for industry stakeholder adoption.

At the July 14, 2021, HITAC meeting, ONC released a draft set of developer measures for the EHR reporting program’s condition of maintaining health IT certification from the Cures Act.

These developer-reported measures aim to address information gaps in the marketplace and provide insights into various use cases for certified health IT.

ONC contracted with Urban, and its subcontractor, HealthTech Solutions, to develop the draft set of health IT developer measures.

Urban and HealthTech Solutions interviewed stakeholders and examined the certified health IT landscape to consider a variety of possible measures for the program.

“In recognition of this work, and in alignment with our priorities, ONC has taken an incremental approach to this new Condition and Maintenance of Certification requirement,” Michael Wittie, ONC public health analyst, and Jeff Smith, ONC deputy director of certification & testing, wrote in an ONC blog post.

Wittie and Smith explained that the agency has focused this initial set of developer-reported measures on the interoperability of health data with four main subcategories: patient access, clinical care information exchange, public health information exchange, and standards adoption and conformance measures.

Urban will refine the draft measures based on public feedback and submit a final set of measures to ONC. Stakeholders can visit the Urban website to comment on the measures until September 14, 2021. ONC will then initiate notice and comment rulemaking.

“Implementing this condition of maintaining certification can give the public greater visibility into the impact that federal policies and investments as well as private sector investments are having on standards usage and interoperability for patients, clinicians, and public health,” Wittie and Smith wrote.

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