On Wednesday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT published in the Federal Register an interim final rule that rescinds two specifications previously adopted for certification and standards criteria for electronic health record technology, Health Data Management reports (Goerdert, Health Data Management, 10/13).
The rule refers to provisions that govern the electronic reporting of public health surveillance data (Merrill, Healthcare IT News, 10/14).
Earlier this year, HHS established guidelines to clarify how public health agencies should use EHR systems to record and submit public health surveillance data to CDC (Health Data Management, 10/13).
Details of the Change
In the interim final rule, ONC says that it received comments from authorized testing and certification bodies and EHR product developers pointing out that the specifications in question "do not appear to be appropriate for implementing the adopted standard ... for public health surveillance" purposes (Healthcare IT News, 10/14).
The groups added that the standards were creating "significant ambiguity and concern regarding whether these implementation specifications must be used for testing and certification."
ONC writes, "After further review of the implementation specifications and consultation with [CDC], we have determined that these implementation specifications were adopted in error" (Stevens, CMIO, 10/14).
The interim final rule is effective immediately.
Comments on the rule will be accepted through Nov. 12 (AHA News, 10/13).