I’ve had real problems with the idea of there only being one EHR certifying body for a while now. I think competition usually brings the best out of organizations and forces them to be better than they would have been had there been no competition. Plus, it usually brings the price of things down also.
With that background, I was very happy to see that Drummond Group Plans to Certify EHR software as well. One of the comments on this blog pointed this group out to me and I’m very happy to see that they’re planning to enter the EHR Certification fray. Here’s a short quote from their press release:
Drummond Group has been approached recently by numerous EHR software and services companies that need to be certified.
“Clearly there is a growing demand for EHR certifications, says Rik Drummond, CEO of Drummond Group. “Drummond Group has been supporting Fortune 500 industries and government by certifying the transfer, identity and cybersecurity of their internet information flow over the last ten years. We have also done testing for the CDC, DEA and GSA. Certification of EHR is a natural extension of our testing program, and we believe we can provide great value for the medical community. We look forward to the publishing of the ONC requirements in the days ahead so we can get started.”
This is very good news!
I contacted Drummond Group to try and get an idea of how much the Drummond Group EHR certification might cost. As expected, there answer was that they’d be waiting for the ONC certification criteria before determining the cost and “what” to certify. So, we’ll have to wait to compare Drummond’s EHR certification costs with CCHIT’s EHR certification costs.
I also asked them whether they thought they would continue EHR certification after the EHR stimulus money runs out. Here was their quick response:
We would plan to continue if the users were happy with the certification after the stimulus money is gone…we have tested one standard for over 9 years without stimulus funds. In that case, the users still find great value in certified interoperable products and the numbers continue to grow in adoption. The vendors view Interoperability Certification as two things:
The certification seal adds marketing recognition and the testing is considered an extension of their
own Quality Assurance testing that they could not create internally on their own. It’s a win-win.
If they do decide to continue certifying EHR, I hope they will focus on interoperability certification. That could be beneficial and what I think the EHR stimulus money should have been spent on in the first place.