NIST EHR Certification Test Plan

In case you missed it, I posted on my other site about the NIST EHR Certification testing website. I still haven’t had much time to dig deep into what’s available, but one of my readers sent me the following (excuse the lack of form since they probably didn’t intend it to be published):

Boy, I don’t know what to think. Much of this seems to be piles of words referring to zillions of links.

However, I did find a place where it talks about the “Draft Test Procedures.” Under that heading it lists the “Draft Test Method” for a category such as Maintain Active Medication List. It shows, for instance, that you must be able to enter something like:

RxNormCode Medication Brand Name (generic name) Dose Form Route Frequency DateStarted DateStopped
205875 Diabeta (glyburide) 2.5 mg Tablet By mouth(po) every morning 9/16/09
617314 Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium) 10 mg Tablet By mouth(po) daily 5/5/08

and then modify, and later list. So, I guess if a system didn’t have the ability to enter “route” then does this mean the system fails? Or, does allowing an improper form of “route” for the med make it fail? Unclear. On the other hand, because you can enter and modify all of the above, does it “pass”? What is missing, from my opinion, is the useability factor. My docs, for instance, like to see the history of dispensing of a given medication. Knowing and being able to easily see the various dispensings of amoxicillin is key to practicing good medicine. The Draft does not address that and is, in my opinion, a major missing point. One can have a system where doing anything takes lots of clicks and typing, or common things can be done in a few steps.

The rest of the Draft Test Methods are the same. Enter this, change that, make a list.

It would be nice if someone could tell me what it is I’m missing.

Does anyone else get the feeling that this certification stuff is going to be a mess and add little value for doctors?

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • I don’t think useful is what we’re looking for. Just a requirement for the $18+ billion in EMR stimulus money. So, most people probably just care that it’s as cheap as possible.

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