An EHR system that has been ONC-ATCB certified has been thoroughly tested and approved to store and maintain patient health information and to do so securely.
One of the biggest concerns when it comes to EHR systems is data protection, and ONC-ATCB-certified products have been tested and found to meet stringent security protocols.
Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about ONC-ATCB certification.
What do the letters stand for?
ONC: Office of the National Coordinator
The Office of the National Coordinator is a government entity. According to HealthIT.gov, the ONC “is at the forefront of the administration’s health IT efforts and is a resource to the entire health system to support the adoption of health information technology and the promotion of nationwide health information exchange to improve health care.”1
As an organization, the ONC1
- Falls within the Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Coordinates nationwide efforts to implement and use the most advanced health information technology and the electronic exchange of health information
ATCB: Authorized Testing and Certification Body
According to HealthIT.gov, Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies are organizations that “have been authorized to perform Complete EHR and/or EHR Module testing and certification. ONC-ATCBs are required to test and certify EHRs to the applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary under subpart C of Part 170 Part II and Part III as stipulated in the Standards and Certification Criteria Final Rule.”2
Why is certification important?
An EHR that has been ONC-ATCB verified has the stamp of approval for healthcare providers and eligible professionals—it means they can use these systems with full confidence that the software has the necessary capabilities to meet Meaningful Use standards.2
Simply put, ONC-ATCB “is the main certification authority for electronic health record (EHR) technology, namely EHR vendors and consultants within the United States,” according to Techopedia.com.3
What does this mean for chiropractors?
The ONC-ATCB tests software that is designed for use in chiropractic offices. Many practices are eligible to participate in the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services’ (CMS) EHR incentive programs, and to do so, one of the most important steps is choosing an EHR program that has been ONC-ATCB approved.
Even if DCs choose to not participate in the incentive program, there are still good reasons to purchase and use an EHR that has been through the rigorous testing required to be ONC-ATCB certified. Choosing to purchase an ONC-ATCB-certified EHR product provides DCs with some assurances. Though uncertified software may be less expensive, purchasing it could be far more costly in the long run, should there be a security breach or if your practice is investigated by the Office of Inspector General.
1 Health IT. “About ONC.” HealthIT.gov. http://www.healthit.gov/newsroom/about-onc. Updated August 2014. Accessed April 2015.
2 Health IT. “Authorized Testing and Certifications Bodies.” HealthIT.gov. http://www.healthit.gov/policy-researchers-implementers/authorized-testing-and-certifications-bodies. Updated January 2013. Accessed April 2015.
3 Janssen C. “Office of the National Coordinator – Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB).” TechoPedia.com. http://www.techopedia.com/definition/25043/office-of-the-national-coordinator-authorized-testing-and-certification-body-onc-atcb. Accessed April 2015.