Getting Started with your Testing Engagement

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What does "Testing" mean? 

In the ONC Health IT Certification Program, testing and certification activities are performed by distinct and separate entities within ICSA Labs.  The ICSA Labs testing team completes testing, those results are independently evaluated by the ICSA Labs Certification Body.
ICSA Labs uses ONC-approved test methods to evaluate a Complete EHR or Health IT Module for conformance to the certification criteria and standards required by the federal government.  ICSA Labs has developed several tools and processes to aid in a practical and effective experience.  These include, but are not limited to, presentations offered at key points in the process to build a better understanding of requirements and next steps, as well as a number of key guidance documents to aid in clarifying the 2015 Edition and 2015 Edition Cures Update criteria and interpretation thereof.  ICSA also maintains a custom test script provided to customers at the beginning of the testing engagement; these test scripts are derived from the official test procedure.  Access to the script allows our customers to self-prepare for testing and clearly outlines what is expected on the day of live testing.  Finally, the ICSA Labs' HIT team is available to answer questions related to the program, from testing through to the certification and maintenance of your certified Health IT Modules.
Testing is performed by qualified analysts that are part of the ICSA Labs Authorized Testing Laboratory (ATL).  More information on the National Voluntary Lab Accreditation Program (NVLAP) HIT Laboratory Accreditation Program can be found at
Test results from ICSA Labs ATL, are used by the ICSA Labs ONC-Authorized Certification Body to grant certification.  Once ICSA Labs certifies the Health IT Module, the information is submitted to ONC, and the Complete EHR or Health IT Module will be listed on the Certified Health IT Product List (CHPL).

Scope and Registration

The first step in becoming ONC Certified is defining the scope of the testing engagement.  You can select Ambulatory, Inpatient, or Hybrid.  Next, you will need to determine which criteria makes sense for your specfic business needs.  You will need to submit this information to ICSA Labs through a Online Customer Portal Registration form.

Currently, the minimum criteria to receive a CHPL listing is only §170.315(g)(4) Quality management system and §170.315(g)(5) Accessibility-centered design; however, you should also consider…

The ONC defines the Base EHR definition:  

Base EHR is a core set of capabilities that allows a provider to achieve “interoperability.”  This baseline assures that the certified Health IT Module, which satisfies the Base EHR definition, was developed to possess, at a minimum, a key set of capabilities.  To generate a +Cert ID for CMS from the CHPL, a user has to select a Complete EHR or a group of Health IT Modules that meets the Base EHR definition.

CMS defines CEHRT definition:

CMS requires that a provider or hospital use a Complete EHR or a group of Health IT Modules that meet the CEHRT definition to qualify for incentive payments and many other programs.  The CEHRT definition requires the same criteria as the Base EHR definition. However, it goes on to specify the certification criteria to support meeting specific objectives and measures required by the individual CMS programs, typically but not always related to incentive payments.  The CEHRT requirements center on reporting data to CMS (for example, the public Health and automated measure criteria).  We strongly encourage you to reach out to CMS to understand their program requirements.

Request More Information about Testing

To request access to your own ICSA Labs Customer Portal for the ONC Health IT Certification program or for more information about the program Contact us we would be happy to set up a call to go over all our offerings.