set in stone. ONC made it clear when
releasing a final rule on the permanent
program this past January that it would
accrediting organizations to test and
certify products under the permanent
The launch of the permanent EHR certification
program will now coincide with the release of
the stage 2 meaningful use final rule and new
standards and certification criteria.
delay the start as necessary. The target date had been at the request of the
industry, which sought a date for planning purposes.
ONC made the decision after con-
sulting with the American National
Standards Institute and the National
Institute of Standards and Technol-
ogy. Both organizations play a role in
“We base this conclusion on ANSI
and [NIST’s] estimations of the amount
of time needed to complete the accred-
itation of certification bodies and test-
ing laboratories, as well as our estima-
tion of the time period for the National
Coordinator to review the applications
of accredited certification bodies and
subsequently authorize them as ONC-
ACBs,” Mostashari wrote.
Security a Small Share of IT Budgets
More than half of survey respondents reported that their organizations dedicated
3 percent or less of their overall IT budgets to information security.
From a survey of 329 IT and security professionals working in hospitals and ambulatory care
settings. “HIMSS Security Survey.” November 2011. www.himss.org.
ONC Launches EHR
ONC plans to conduct a five-year nationwide survey to gauge the nation’s
attitudes and concerns with EHRs and
HIE. The survey will be used to measure ONC’s effort to engage consumers
in health IT and inspire their confidence
and trust in EHRs.
The survey will ask if individuals are
concerned about the privacy and security of EHRs; if they have kept any part
of their medical history from their doctor due to privacy concerns; and if they
are concerned an unauthorized person
would see their medical information if it
is sent electronically.
“The proposed information collection
will permit us to better understand individuals’ attitudes toward the privacy
and security aspects of the use of electronic health records and electronic
health information exchange as well as
inform policy and programmatic objectives,” read ONC’s statement in the November 3 Federal Register notice.
An estimated 2,000 people will be
surveyed annually by phone. ¢