AHIMA Comments on ONC Request for Information on Certified EHR Reporting

AHIMA recently responded to a 21st Century Cures Act-mandated request for information (RFI) issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) regarding reporting criteria under the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Reporting Program for health IT developers. Under the Cures Act, health IT developers are required to report information on certified health IT as a condition of certification and maintenance of certification by ONC.

In a letter addressed to Don Rucker, MD, who leads ONC, AHIMA states that it supports the development of an EHR reporting program, and offered the following general recommendations:

  • ONC should adopt an incremental approach to a reporting program as laid out in PHSA Section 3009A(c)(3)(A) created by Section 4002(c) of the Cures Act.
  • ONC should consolidate existing health IT comparison resources in a centralized clearinghouse as part of the EHR Reporting Program, including information currently available on ONC’s Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL).
  • AHIMA also recommends that, as ONC seeks to consolidate existing health IT comparison resources, it is critically important that the agency adopt appropriate naming convention strategies to ensure there is a clear understanding of terminologies across all stakeholders, including developers and end users.

In response to the RFI’s question about how data can be collected without undue burdens on physicians, AHIMA suggests that ONC should, to the greatest extent possible, use data collected from other state and federal programs. Utilization of existing data will help ensure that clinicians are not taken away from spending critical time with patients to meet the reporting requirements of the EHR Reporting Program.

Another portion of the RFI asks for input on how best to encourage patients, clinicians, and other users to share their experiences with certified health IT. AHIMA encourages ONC to work with specialty societies and other professional organizations to collect information regarding end users’ experiences with certified health IT.

Additionally, AHIMA states that “…if ONC intends to include reviews from patients of certified health IT products as part of the EHR Reporting Program, we recommend that ONC utilize existing patient surveys to seek feedback on patient experiences with certified health IT products. For example, ONC should consider working with NIH to determine the feasibility of including questions about the patient experience with certified health IT products as part of the National Cancer Institute’s Heath Information National Trends Survey.”

Click here to read AHIMA’s full response, available online in the HIM Body of Knowledge.

Mary Butler is the associate editor at Journal of AHIMA.

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