About the IHE USA 2014 Cycle Certification Program
UPDATE: The first products tested at the North American Connectathon have achieved 2014 Cycle IHE USA Certification. See the IHE USA Certified Product Directory for more detailed information on the specific products, versions, and certification criteria.
IHE USA, a non-profit organization that drives adoption of standards-based interoperability to improve patient care, and ICSA Labs developed a program in late 2012 to provide industry-accepted certification that complemented existing testing of IHE profiles conducted at the IHE North American Connectathon.
The IHE North American Connectathon, together with the Connectathon Conference, is an annual event that brings together thought leaders and interoperable health IT systems from across the globe to focus on promoting and supporting the expansion and best use of standards-based interoperable health IT applications that leverage IHE integration profiles.
Certification of select IHE profiles, which also provide significant underpinnings to Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) interoperability specifications, will give purchasers of health IT products additional independent, third-party assurance that there is a credible, repeatable process that ensures high quality testing, and that these certified products will exhibit the robust capabilities for optimal data exchange and security that our industry demands. ICSA Labs is leveraging a testing and certification framework based on its experience administering the ONC Health IT Certification Program for Meaningful Use, and providing a structured testing and certification framework based on its NVLAP Accredited HIT Test Lab and ONC-Authorized Certification Body*, using the guiding principles set forth by ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO/IEC Guide 65. Certification also includes industry-standard system surveillance activities that ensure that certified products continue to perform as tested, over time.
IHE USA and ICSA Labs created this program to support healthcare providers and hospitals as they adapt to the evolving health IT landscape which places increasing emphasis on shared information and accountable care. Certification aims to distinguish those products and system developers that have the ability to test IHE profiles that integrate interoperability and security requirements surpassing baseline requirements set by the federal government for Meaningful Use with an eye on Stage 3 and beyond. IHE USA and ICSA Labs developed this complementary certification program to further their shared goals of improving healthcare delivery through the adoption of robust, secure, and interoperable health IT. The IHE USA Certification program will expand the reach of independent third party testing and certification to not only include traditional EHR products that are the focus of current federal EHR adoption efforts, but allow Health Information Exchange (HIE) products, Patient Care Device (PCD) manufacturers, and other participants in the health IT ecosystem to pursue testing and certification based on mature, scalable, and industry-vetted specifications.
In 2014, participants who have registered and passed testing in a previous IHE Connectathon will be eligible to qualify and register for IHE USA Certification testing. IHE USA Certified products are published in the official ICSA Labs certified product directory.
IHE USA Certification Program Highlights
- Certified products showcased by IHE USA and ICSA Labs year-round in the new HIMSS Innovation Center.
- Certification, once achieved is valid for 2 years
- ICSA Labs provides specially trained Testing Analysts to closely observe and document the results of every test
- "Scenario Testing" to better model end-to-end interoperability and add additional rigor beyond tests conducted at the general Connectathon
- Certification testing leverages familiar test tools developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology
- Certification is granted to specific products and versions tested by ICSA Labs
- The product update process streamlines the inheritance of certification for updated and enhanced products
- Surveillance component ensures that certified products continue to function as tested
- Virtual testing complements on site testing at the Connectathon and throughout the year.
- Additional virtual testing sessions are scheduled for summer 2014.
For additional information, please contact us at IHEcert@icsalabs.com.
*Note that while complementary, the IHE USA Certification program is a program offering from ICSA Labs and IHE USA that is separate from the ONC Health IT Certification program, and that IHE USA Certification alone will not qualify providers or hospitals for federal EHR Adoption incentives.