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HiMSS 2012 Feature Articles

February 23, 2012

Kansas-Based Healthcare Facility Earns EHR Certification from ICSA Labs

Under its electronic health record program, ICSA Labs has awarded the EHR Certification to Via Christi Health, a network of hospitals, doctors, specialty clinics and senior centers in Wichita and south central Kansas. This is the first solution to earn certification from ICSA Labs while already deployed at a hospital.

ICSA Labs is the authorized testing and certification body appointed by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and is authorized to test complete EHR solutions as well as modular ones that address a specific IT function. Previously, the organization has certified a number of commercial off-the-shelf and open-source solutions. Kansas-Based Via Christi Health is the first health care organization to achieve EHR Certification from ICSA Labs.

The health care group has earned the certification for its custom software, which has been developed internally developed and deployed across its facilities. This ICSA Labs certification recognizes that Via Christi Health‘s software follows patient-care best practices and enables the secure exchange of patient records. In order to be certified, the software had to establish its compliance with standards set forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology for electronic health records.

The custom-made health IT software helps the hospital to manage patient records throughout its facilities. In the press release, the health care organization revealed that they preferred custom-built software over an already-certified solution. Because of this decision, the hospital had to undergo a rigorous evaluation process, but it was the right choice. The custom software proved cost-effective for the hospital. Moreover, it saved lots of time and efforts on the part of the staff, who were allowed to continue to work with a familiar solution, instead of spending their time on learning a new technology.

 “Certifying our own software not only proved more cost effective for Via Christi Health, it was significantly less disruptive for our doctors and caregivers. Instead of asking our doctors to switch to a new solution, our physicians were able to continue to use software with which they were already familiar. This enabled them to focus on delivering excellent patient care, instead of learning new technology,” application architecture manager at Via Christi Health Dave Gestenslager explained I a statement.

“By certifying its own software versus transitioning to new software, Via Christi Health is a great example of how certification for electronic health records promotes technology use in a meaningful way to allow for better economics and improved access to patient information. The testing of custom EHR solutions for eligible providers and hospitals like Via Christi Health enables physicians and staff to effectively use certified health technology,” health care program manager at ICSA Labs Amit Trivedi noted in a statement.

Earlier Motorola (News - Alert) Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of mission-critical communication solutions and services for enterprise and government customers, announced that its WiNG 5 Wireless local area network (WLAN) access points (APs) and controllers have received the ICSA Labs' Firewall certification.

Edited by Chris Freeburn

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