ONC-ATCB Certified EMR Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: December 06, 2023
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology selected six companies to test and provide certification for the use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Software. These organizations were labeled as the ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies (ONC-ATCB). They decided whether an EHR software met the criteria of Meaningful Use (MU), previously implemented by the US Secretary of Health and Human Services. The criteria included a list of technological features and potential, along with safety and security requirements.
The ONC Certifications make sure that an Electronic Health Record (EHR) Software is in accordance with the Meaningful Use (MU) criteria. Other than that, it also makes sure that the EMR system follows a well-defined and compatible format for patient information.
At present, a total of 275 In-Patient Practice Products and 500 Ambulatory Practice Products are ONC-ATCB certified. This means they meet all the requirements of EMR/EHR Meaningful Use (MU). The ONC Certification plays an important role in establishing the market image of an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software. For this reason, the number of ONC-ATCB certified Softwares is also increasing as they continue to apply for certification. This software can either be a single module or a complete EHR solution. Here is a complete guide to help you make the right choice in selecting an ONC-ATCB Certified EMR software for your medical practice.
Important Features in an EMR Software
Before purchasing any EMR software, there are a few considerations that you need to look out for. These aspects help differentiate a ‘good’ quality EMR software from a ‘bad’ quality one.
User-friendly Navigation and Experience: A user-friendly interface can help you simplify tasks and actions for your staff and help them in increasing their productivity.
Integration: You should easily be able to integrate the EMR solution you select with your existing system, irrespective of the device you are working on.
Ease of Access: You should also be able to access patient information, write e-prescriptions, check patient charts, etc. 24/7 from anywhere in the world. One of the biggest benefits of having a cloud-based EHR system is to not have to be restricted to your server for patient information.
Always Available for Support: When you are implementing a new digital solution, it is completely normal to run into problems. However, if you have strong support from your EMR software provider, you can easily overcome any problem you encounter during this process and afterward as well.
Before making any final decisions, it is always better to ask your provider for an ONC-ATCB Certified EHR Software Demo or check reviews of their past clients. This will allow you to make sure if the software you’re choosing is the right one for your practice or not. Lastly, make sure to compare the different EHR software you choose to select the one that is perfect for your ONC-ATCB Certified practice.
Selecting an ONC-ATCB Certified EMR Software for Your Practice
Now it’s time to talk about ONC-ATCB certified EHR software specifically. Before purchasing an ONC-ATCB certified EHR software, you need to make sure that the software is certificated from at least one of the following list of companies:
CCHIT - CCHIT is an abbreviation for the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology. The company is based in Chicago, Illinois, and received authorization in September 2010. CCHIT certifications include both Single Modules and complete EHR systems. The company stopped certifying new EMR Software in January 2014.
ICSA Labs – ICSA Labs was awarded authorization in December 2010. Just as CCHIT, ICSA Labs certifications include both Single Modules and complete EHR Systems. The company is based in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
InfoGard - The company headquarter is located in California and was awarded Authorization in September 2010. InfoGard certifications also include both Single Modules and complete EHR Systems.
Drummond Group – Drummond Group is located in Austin, Texas, and was awarded authorization in September 2010. It also provides certification to Single Modules and completes EHR/EMR systems.
SLI Global Solutions – The company is located in Denver, Colorado, and was authorized in December 2010. It also provides certification to Single Modules and completes EHR/EMR systems.
Surescripts – The company is located in Arlington, Virginia, and was awarded authorization in 2010. Surescripts Certifications include E-Prescribing, EHR Modules, and Privacy & Security.
According to the Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), a single, certified product does not make providers eligible for incentive payments. A product can either be an EHR module or a complete EHR system.
Here is a list of key questions that providers need to ask while comparing and evaluating ONC-ATCB EHR certified vendors:
Which type of Certification has the Software been authorized with? In order to receive Stimulus Incentives, providers should use an ONC-certified EHR/ONC-certified EMR software system.
Which version of the software has been authorized with a certification? Medical Practitioners need to make sure that the version they are using has ONC-ATCB certification.
Is the system vendor certified for a complete or a module-based EHR? Providers need to implement two or more modular EHR systems that meet 100% of the requirements in the ONC criteria.
Has the product ever been renamed by the business partners of the seller in the past? Providers need to make sure that the renamed version has also received ONC certification, along with the original product.
Determining Your Needs
Before deciding which EHR solution to implement, it’s important to understand what your practice’s needs are. When it comes to EHR solutions, one size doesn’t fit all. Understanding your needs will not only help you decide the best solution for your practice but also help you use your EHR solution to the fullest. ONC-ATCB Certified EHR software is in today’s world essential for practitioners because it helps save time and money.
How to Select an ONC-ATCB Certified EHR Vendor?
Now that you know what kind of features you need to look for, it’s time to discuss what type of ONC-ATCB certified EHR software vendor you should select for your medical practice.
Vendor and Practice Size – Firstly, you need to understand which size of companies your vendor typically aims for. After that, you need to analyze the size of your practice as well. If you have a large facility, you wouldn’t want to select an EHR vendor that only deals with small practices. Typically, the vendors that cater to larger facilities have a high-cost ONC-ATCB Certified EMR software.
Vendor Certification – This is probably the most important aspect before selecting an EMR vendor for your practice. You need to make sure your vendor is an ONC-authorized testing and certification body (ONC-ATCB). Selecting a non-certified vendor will only bring you trouble and a nuisance to your practice.
System Design – This will probably depend on whether you want to install ONC-ATCB certified EHR software on-site in your server, or use a cloud-based one. Although you’ll get more advantages with a cloud-based solution, it probably boils down to your personal preference. Whatever you choose, you’ll need to find an EMR vendor that provides the service you are looking for.
Even after making a final decision, you should use an ONC-ATCB Certified EMR software demo or check out their tutorials to make sure it is exactly what you’re expecting. A quick comparison of the ONC-ATCB Certified EMR software available in the market can help you find the best one for your practice.
What’s the Final Step?
Before making your decision, it is essential to understand how every vendor and practice workflow is unique. For this reason, a vendor that may work for one practice may not exactly suit the other. Therefore, software experts and industry specialists are an ideal source of information, advice, and ultimately ensuring that the right decision is made.
After understanding the features and deciding upon a few potential vendors, you can also compare the pricing of the ONC-ATCB Certified EMR Software. After you reach a vendor with all the services, features, support, and cost plans you are looking for, you can finally make the last step and move towards its implementation.