MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – IHE USA, a nonprofit organization that drives adoption of standards-based interoperability to improve patient care, and ICSA Labs, an independent division of Verizon, unveiled on Tuesday (Dec. 4) a new certification program aimed at assuring the security and interoperability of health information technology.
The program will provide industry-accepted certification to complement existing conformance testing to IHE integration profiles to ensure that different software and systems can securely connect.
Certification to these profiles, which also provide significant underpinnings to Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) specifications, will give purchasers of health IT products independent third-party assurance that there is a standardized, repeatable process that ensures products are suitable for secure health data exchange, and that the products function as intended.
"Implementing products certified to the IHE profiles will allow health care providers and hospitals to take advantage of more complex workflows that can make a huge difference in applying information technology to health care," said Joyce Sensmeier, president of IHE USA and vice president of informatics at HIMSS. "Right now, a lot of products cannot 'talk' to each other, which makes it very challenging for health care providers to move to a paperless environment."
Participants who are registered for the 2013 NA Connectathon, sponsored by IHE USA, will be able to register for certification testing at the event, to be held on Jan. 28 in Chicago. For more information, click here.
Results will be evaluated by ICSA Labs, which will grant certification based on requirements set forth by IHE USA, and the general principles covered by ISO/IEC Guide 65 for organizations providing product certification. Certification also will include ongoing testing to ensure that certified products continue to perform as tested.
"Given our decades of experience as an independent testing and certification entity and as an ONC Authorized Certification Body, ICSA Labs is fully committed to accelerating the adoption of secure, and interoperable health information technology furthering the goal of improving patient safety and care," said ICSA Labs Managing Director George Japak. "Our new joint certification will have a significant impact on ensuring that the vision of health IT becomes a reality."
Certified products will be published by IHE USA, as well as in the official ICSA Labs product directory. Three tiers of certification will be awarded:
- Tier 1: Conformance to IHE profiles
- Tier 2: Demonstrated interoperability among disparate systems
- Tier 3: Validated implementations of deployed certified technology
Vendors interested in learning more about having their products certified to IHE integration profiles should contact IHECertification@icsalabs.com.
About IHE USA
IHE USA (www.iheusa.org) is a not-for-profit organization established in 2010 that operates as a deployment committee of IHE International(r). The mission of IHE USA is to drive adoption of standards-based interoperability to improve patient care through innovation, standards profiling, testing, education and collaboration. IHE USA improves the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery by supporting the deployment of standards-based electronic health record systems, facilitating the exchange of health information among care providers, both within the enterprise and across care settings, and enabling local, regional and nationwide health information networks in the United States, all in a manner consistent with participation in IHE International, Inc.
About ICSA Labs
ICSA Labs, an independent division of Verizon, offers third-party testing and certification of security and health IT products, as well as network-connected devices, to measure product compliance, reliability and performance for many of the world's top security vendors. ICSA Labs is an ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accredited and 9001:2008 registered organization. Visit http://www.icsalabs.com and http://www.icsalabs.com/blogs for more information.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with nearly 96 million retail customers nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 184,500. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.