Drummond Group’s View of EHR Temporary Certification Program Final Rule

If anybody was doubting that Drummond Group was ready to be a player in the EHR certification rule, I think this blog post should make them think twice. You can tell from the tone of the post that Drummond Group had been waiting for HHS to issue the final rule so they could get moving.

In the same blog post, Drummond Group provides a short summary of some of the major changes to the rule after the comments:

* Waiving of the 30-day delay in the effective rule. This is by far the most significant “change” in terms of how it impacts vendors, providers and hospitals. Typical procedure for Final Rules is to have 30-day delay after it is on the Federal Register before it becomes “effective”, but this can be waived in certain situations. What this means practically is that once the Final Rule goes into the Federal Register, say around July 1, the Temporary Certification Program will be active and ONC can begin processing applications from organizations like ourselves intending to be ATCBs. ONC does give themselves 30 days to process and approve the application so you still may not see an ATCB officially testing until possibly August.

* Temporary Certification Sunsets No Earlier than 12/31/11. The NPRM had stated that the Temporary Program ends (and the Permanent Program begins) when there is an accredited ONC-ACB. Now, the Temporary Program is given a clear window of operation through the end of 2011, and it may be extended if an ONC-ACB is not found by then. This gives more stability to the Temporary Program.

* All ATCBs Must Support Remote Testing. The NPRM had previously only required support of testing at the local ATCB facility. Now, remote testing is required for all ATCBs. Remote testing can be done either at the development site (vendor) or deployment site (provider or hospital implementation). Based on our DGI surveys, remote testing was by far the preferred method, and ONC also received the same feedback.

Drummond Group also suggests that ONC really did listen to the comments that were given. I don’t doubt this actually. The people I’ve met from ONC really do seem like good people that are trying to do their best within the government limitations. It’s just unfortunate that the government limitations are so onerous.

Now the real fun begins as the various EHR certifying bodies start to appear and EMR vendors get to decide which body they should use.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, 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, EXPO.health, 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.


  • Thanks for the head’s up John, for some reason your post popped up in my feed reader faster than Drummond Group’s (it’s still now showing any activity there). DG has certainly made a good impression on me with their blog’s thoughtful tone (if only they’d lighten the background for their text, it’s always hard to read the first paragraph). I hope that’s a good sign of things to come.

  • Good. I like to hear that mine’s loading fast;-)

    I agree that they’re background is a bit rough. It’s not nice and clean like mine. lol Mine is ugly, but functional. Although, I’m seriously considering a redesign soon. It will be similar to what I have now, but better optimized and a little cleaner look.

    I’ve liked DG so far. We’ll just see what type of pricing they come out with.

  • Given the choices, I’ll take functional over ugly any day (although both is of course best). It doesn’t matter how “pretty” something is if you can’t use it (dare I say) meaningfully.

  • John, I had a very encourging conversation with Joani Hughes of Drummond Group. In about 10 minutes, she was more helpful than my two emails and telephone call to CCHIT ever were.

    Her willingness to take my call, listen to my complaints and concerns, then direct me to someone she felt could help me better, says a lot about this organization.

    What a breath of fresh air.

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