Medsphere: New ONC EHR Certification Program ‘Levels Playing Field for Open Source’ . . .

Enables Hospitals to Affordably Achieve Meaningful Use of Health IT and Improve Care


WASHINGTON, DC and SAN DIEGO—Medsphere Systems Corporation, the leading provider of open-source healthcare enterprise solutions, today voiced support for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s newly announced temporary health IT certification program. The terms of ONC’s temporary certification program will determine which health IT vendors can help hospitals and physician practices meet “meaningful use” requirements for federal stimulus funding included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

“ONC’s temporary certification program levels the playing field for open-source electronic health record systems like OpenVista and gives healthcare providers of any size or budget more opportunities to find an appropriate and affordable solution,” said Medsphere President and CEO Mike Doyle. “By emphasizing ‘meaningful’ use and results over features and functions, these new standards encourage hospitals to focus on actual clinical improvement instead of getting bogged down in meaningless compliance that doesn’t help clinicians, institutions or patients.

“Medsphere guarantees that our open-source solution will meet every certification standard. As the country’s leading (VA) VistA EHR derivative, OpenVista gives hospitals an affordable and flexible alternative to the staggering expense of proprietary EHRs.”

The ONC announcement effectively shifts certification authority away from the Certification Commission for Health IT and fast-tracks the certification process. CCHIT has, until now, dominated the industry with a focus on feature-function criteria; these favor big expensive systems that small and/or “safety net” hospitals can ill afford. By broadening standards to include open-source, self-developed and other non-proprietary systems, ONC opens the door for diverse solutions that resource-challenged healthcare providers can leverage as they race to achieve meaningful use of EHR and qualify for ARRA stimulus dollars.

About ONC Certification

According to the ONC, this temporary certification program is the first of a two-part approach to establishing a transparent and objective certification process. The temporary certification program was established to ensure that “Certified EHR Technology” will be available for adoption by healthcare providers who seek to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive payments beginning in 2011. EHR technology tested and certified by an ONC Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ATCB) under the temporary certification program will remain certified once the permanent certification program replaces the temporary certification program. The change in certification programs will not affect the certified status of EHR technology at the time of change.

Click on Health IT Certification to read more details about the ONC announcement.

Experts Available

Medsphere HIT experts are available to speak on the short- and long-term healthcare implications of the ONC announcement.

Michael J. Doyle – President and Chief Executive Officer

Edmund Billings, MD – Chief Medical Officer and EVP, Product

About Medsphere and OpenVista