Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Is ONC Stonewalling on the issue of HIT Certification, Safety and Liability?

At my Feb. 16, 2012 post "Hospitals and Doctors Use Health IT at Their Own Risk - Even if Certified" I wrote that an ONC-ATCB (Authorized Testing and Certification Body) replied to my email inquiry about health IT certification, safety and liability indemnification by stating that:

What was suggested in the email below (freedom from liability for users of the system, etc.) would be out of scope for ONC-ATCB testing based on the given criteria.

[That is, the criteria used in testing
here - ed.]

What I did not include in that post was the fact that some months ago, I had emailed ONC directly with the same questions, and then called them on the phone with those questions at about the same time as I inquired of the ATCB.

ONC itself never responded.

There are several possibilities:

  • They don't know the answer.
  • They don't want to respond.
  • They don't care to respond.

Dismissing possibility #1, these civil servants appear to be stonewalling on the issue.

It would be nice to hear ONC itself admit the term "certification" is a gossamer guarantee of health IT safety, efficacy and indemnification of purchasers, implementers and users from potential EHR-related liability.

I am not holding my breath.

-- SS


An ONC representative did get back to me on Feb. 27, but I told them my question had already been answered by ONC ATCB's.

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