Original Press Release
ANSI Selected as ONC-Approved Accreditor for the Permanent Certification Program for Health Information Technology
Press release date: June 20, 2011
Federal initiative aims to improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency through EHR technology and information exchange
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), coordinator of the U.S. voluntary standardization system, has been selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as the ONC-Approved Accreditor (ONC-AA) for the Permanent Certification Program for Health Information Technology for an initial three-year term.
ONC's Permanent Certification Program ("the Program") was established by regulation in a final rule published in the Federal Register on January 7, 2011. The Program seeks to enhance the certification of health information technology in the United States by increasing comprehensiveness, transparency, reliability, and efficiency of the current processes used for the certification of electronic health record (EHR) technology. Selection of ANSI as the ONC-AA is one of the initial steps in the implementation of the Program. As the ONC-AA, ANSI will accredit all certification bodies seeking to participate in the Program, which is expected to begin in 2012.
"ANSI is pleased to have earned ONC's approval as the first ONC-AA under the Program -following a very rigorous selection process," said ANSI president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia. "This selection attests to the highest quality of the Institute's accreditation programs and is just the latest example of government reliance on ANSI accreditation programs to demonstrate value and assure competency for important national priorities."
"Accreditation by ANSI creates a valuable attribute for certification bodies," said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services. "This value extends through the service network and will help to instill confidence in EHR technology among health IT developers, health professionals and hospitals, and the general public."
ANSI will assess applicant certification bodies against the requirements set forth in ISO/IEC Guide 65, General requirements for bodies operating product certification systems, which was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
ANSI itself meets the requirements of ISO/IEC 17011, Conformity assessment - General requirements for accreditation bodies accrediting conformity assessment bodies, which represents the highest internationally accepted practices for accreditation bodies.
The Institute's portfolio of accreditation services includes programs for all types of certification and verification bodies, including those for products, personnel, greenhouse gas emissions, as well as standards developers. For more information, visit ansi.org/accreditation.
About ANSI The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is comprised of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. The Institute represents the diverse interests of more than 125,000 companies and organizations and 3.5 million professionals worldwide.
The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and is a U.S. representative to the International Accreditation Forum (IAF).
About ONC ONC is at the forefront of the President's health IT efforts, and is a resource to the nation's health system to support the adoption of electronic health information technology and the promotion of nationwide health information exchange to improve health care. ONC is organizationally located within the Office of the Secretary in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
ONC is the principal federal entity charged with coordination of nationwide efforts to implement and use the most advanced health information technology and the electronic exchange of health information. ONC was created in 2004 through an Executive Order, and legislatively mandated by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) of 2009.