SLI Compliance®

ONC_HIT Certification Criteria

Companies of products certified prior to 2015 should be aware of the changes contained within the new release. The 2015 Criteria release by the ONC Health IT program presented information on testing and certification options. SLI ComplianceSM would like to help you with your understanding of these regulations and become your strategic partner for your future testing needs.

Overview of the 2015 Edition Final Rule:

  • Supports HHS-wide goals to achieve better care, smarter spending, and healthier people.
  • Builds on the foundation of the 2011 and 2014 Editions by addressing stakeholder feedback through reducing burden
  • Focuses on health IT components necessary to establish an interoperable nationwide health information infrastructure.
  • Fosters innovation, opens new market opportunities, and expands choices for provider and patient in electronic health information access and exchange.
  • Addresses information blocking and the continued reliability of certified health IT.

The ONC listens to the feedback from all stakeholders and continues to adapt to those suggestions. The 2015 edition expands the scope to include a broader range of health technologies. A few of the 2015 Edition main goals are:

  • Improve Interoperability
  • Ensure Privacy and Security Capabilities
  • Reduce Health Disparities
  • Use the ONC Health IT Certification Program to Support the Care Continuum
  • Facilitate Data Access and Exchange
  • Improve Patient Safety
  • Improve the Reliability and Transparency of Certified Health IT
  • Support Stage 3 of the EHR Incentive Programs

The ONC has focused on supporting the broader Care Continuum. ONC is looking to provide a more accessible ONC Health IT Certification Program supportive of diverse health IT systems, including, but not limited to, EHR technology. Health IT systems across the care continuum include long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) settings. This expansive approach will continue to drive toward better patient care across the health industry.

Below is a brief explanation of the new criteria capabilities to help you understand the goals: 

Certification Criteria Capabilities

 What the Capabilities Provide

More granular recording and exchange of patient race and ethnicity Allows providers to bettter understand health disparities based on race and ethnicity, and improve patient care and health equity
Record Sexual Orientation and gender identity Represents a crucial first step forward to improving care for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities
Record Social, psychological and behavioral data (e.g., education level, stress, depression, and alcohol use) Allows providers and other stakeholders to better understand how this data can affect health, reduce disparities, and improve patient care and health equity
Filtering for clinical quality measures Filtering on demographics, problem lists and other data, which will assist providers in identifying disparities and opportuntiies for care improvement
Exchange of sensitive health information (data segmentation for privacy) Allows for the exchange of sensitive health information (e.g., behavioral health, substance abuse, and genetic information), in accordance with federal and state privacy laws for more coordinated and efficient care
Record and access information directly and electronically shared by a patient Addresses health disparities in populations that are less likely to execute care planning documents or provide health information to providers
Accessibility of health IT
  • Transparency for the accessibility standards used in development
  • Web content accessibility for the capabilities of the VDT criterion


How do you know what scope applies to you? First you will need to understand what the new Base EHR Definition requirements are.  The below table defines what is now included in the Base Definition:

Base EHR Capabilities

 Certification Criteria

Includes patient demographic and clinical health information, such as medical history and problem lists

Demographics § 170.315(a)(5)

Problem List § 170.315.(a)(6)

Medication List § 170.315(a)(7)

Medication Allergy List § 170.315(a)(8)

Smoking Status § 170.315(a)(11)

Implantable Device List § 170.315(a)(14)

Capacity to provide clinical decision support Clinical Decision Support § 170.315(a)(9)
Capacity to support physician order entry Computerized Provider Order Entry (medications, laboratory, or diagnostic imaging) § 170.315(a)(1), (2) or (3)
Capacity to capture and query information relevant to health care quality Clinical Quality Measures - Record and Export § 170.315(c)(1)
Capacity to exchange electronic health information with, and integrate such information from, other sources

Transitions of Care § 170.315(b)(1)

Data Export § 170.315(b)(6)

Application Access - Patient Selection §170.315(g)(7)

Application Access - Data Category Request § 170.315(g)(8)

Application Access - All Data Request § 170.315(g)(9)

Direct Project § 170.315(h)(1) or Direct Project, Edge Protocol, and XDR/XDM § 170.315(h)(2)
















SLI Compliance has a team of highly skilled experts in the ONC Health IT Program and provides professional and efficient testing services with a focus on helping the customer achieve the programs goals.

Contact us to learn more about current ONC Certification Criteria and how SLI Compliance can help you achieve your Meaningful Use goals!