Thursday, October 11, 2012

Announcement of eHealth Exchange Compliance Test Body

On October 11, 2012 the EHR|HIE Interoperability Workgroup,  a New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) led consortium of states and vendors; and Healtheway, the newly formed public-private partnership of the eHealth Exchange (formerly referred to as the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN) Exchange) made a joint announcement on the selection of the Compliance Test Body (the CTB). The Exchange Coordinating Committee, in conjunction with the EHR-HIE Interoperability Workgroup (IWG), issued a joint request for proposals to select a CTB. The CTB will facilitate testing for both the Exchange and support testing for participating state HIE programs. They selected the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) to carry out the testing. As the CTB, CCHIT will certify that the interfaces between the HIT and HIEs are consistent across multiple states and systems. CCHIT is also an Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) authorized certification body and is an accredited testing laboratory for EHRs.

"Today's announcement brings together several activities supported by ONC over the past years: a core set of national standards, an Accredited Certification Body, the Public-private partnership that has emerged from the Nationwide Health Information Network Exchange, and the convening power of New York and other State Health Information Exchange grantees," said Dr. Farzad Mostashari, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. "We look forward to working with this consortium to continue progress on interoperability and secure health information exchange, and to reflect what is learned in national standards as necessary."

To expand nationwide HIE, Healtheway and NYeC formed a strategic partnership to enable technology systems, public and private providers and health information organizations (HIOs) to have access to more efficient testing. The coalition harmonized a set of functional, technical and test specifications that enable true plug and play connectivity to simplify EHR and HIE development.

"The collaboration between the states and vendors to address a shared marketplace gap and work toward a mutual vision has been one of the remarkable aspects of this effort," said David Whitlinger, Executive Director of NYeC. "And momentum is building within both communities as states grow their HIE networks by working with the EHR and HIE vendors to provide seamless integration and clinical workflow, taking the market to a new level for the benefit of patients."

Vendors have agreed to bring their products for testing according to these specifications and participating states have agreed to promote the value of EHR and HIE products certified in the program. The program will ensure that providers' EHR software has the capability to connect to their local HIE and enable communities and states to share patient health information.

"The testing program Healtheway has developed with NYeC is the key to realizing secure and interoperable exchange of health information across organizational and geographic boundaries," said Michael Matthews, Healtheway President and Board Chair. "The launch of a compliance testing program will enable the eHealth Exchange to more than double participation and connectivity over the next nine to 12 months."

There will be an announcment with more details this afternoon. For more information see