About ConCert by HIMSSTM

Overview

Introducing ConCert by HIMSSTM, the comprehensive interoperability testing and certification program governed by HIMSS and built on the work of the EHR | HIE Interoperability Workgroup and IHE USA. The Concert by HIMSS certification is a comprehensive program that tests and certifies electronic health record (EHR) and health information exchange (HIE) vendors committed to advancing interoperability and enabling secure, reliable transfer of data within and across organizational and state boundaries.

The ConCert by HIMSS program streamlines the certification of interoperability in health IT and helps you evaluate vendor claims, simplifying the task of selecting the right information systems for your organization.

The ConCert by HIMSS mark means a product is proven to be interoperable with other products. HIMSS is proud to announce that iPatientCare is the first company to have earned the ConCert by HIMSS EHR certification; a total of nine industry leaders are committed to completing certification testing in 2015. Learn how to secure ConCert by HIMSS Certified products.  

ConCert by HIMSS allows vendors to achieve cost-effective, interoperability certification for solutions that facilitate efficient, seamless data exchange. Learn how your oganization can participate in the Pilot Certification Program. Space is limited so act now.

Read the full Press Release announcing the new program.

History

To advance interoperability in healthcare, HIMSS, IHE USA, the EHR/HIE Interoperability Workgroup (IWG) and ICSA Labs launched Concert by HIMSS in April 2015. The founding organizationsshare a common vision for robust, secure and interoperable health information exchange. Learn more about benefits of affiliation and each founding organization: HIMSS, IHE USA, EHR|HIE Interoperability Workgroup formerly owned by the New York eHealth Collaborative and ICSA Labs.

HIMSS is the governing body and a renowned convener with strong public policy channels, stakeholder representation and industry support. ConCert by HIMSS will play a crucial part in HIMSS Interoperability Services that provide virtual and on-site testing, certification and advanced technical support to prepare vendors for the testing and certification process.

EHR | HIE Interoperability Workgroup is the 19-state, 47-vendor initiative committed to achieving interoperability using a common set of standards-based specifications. The initiative developed strong technical specifications for exchange and a rigorous test tool for testing interoperability

IHE USA has built specifications that form the foundation of interoperability and data exchange, plus, carries broad industry expertise and system-to-system testing experience.

ICSA Labs, the testing and certification body chosen for this program is an ONC-authorized NVLAP accredited testing body that provides expert health IT analysts, and a proven testing and certification framework.

FAQs:

What is ConCert by HIMSS™?

ConCert by HIMSS is a comprehensive interoperability testing and certification program governed by HIMSS and built on the work of the EHR|HIE Interoperability Workgroup and IHE USA. ConCert by HIMSS tests and certifies electronic health record (EHR) and health information exchange (HIE) vendors committed to advancing interoperability and enabling secure, reliable transfer of data within and across organizational and state boundaries.

How was the brand name ConCert by HIMSS™ chosen for this program?

The ConCert by HIMSS team examined various words that represent the goals of the program. The first part of the brand name, CON, represents CONnectivity which is the core of interoperability. The last part of the brand name, CERT, represents CERTification which conveys that a certain product has passed performance tests. The word concert also means "agreement of two or more individuals in a design or plan; combined action; accord or harmony." Together with HIMSS leadership, this new program will certify connectivity to advance interoperability in the marketplace.

How does ConCert by HIMSS™ work?

This robust, highly automated testing and certification program will verify that, once certified, a product is capable of exchanging health information securely and reliably with other certified products. With this certification, a single set of standardized, easy-to-implement connections can support communication among systems.

Who is launching ConCert by HIMSS™?

ConCert by HIMSS brings together trusted organizations with credibility in implementing standards for interoperability.

HIMSS is the governing body and a renowned convener with strong public policy channels, stakeholder representation and industry support. ConCert by HIMSS will play a crucial part in HIMSS Interoperability Services that provide virtual and on-site testing, certification and advanced technical support to prepare vendors for the testing and certification process.

EHR | HIE Interoperability Workgroup is the 19-state, 47-vendor initiative committed to achieving interoperability using a common set of standards-based specifications. The initiative developed strong technical specifications for exchange and a rigorous test tool for testing interoperability. 

IHE USA has built specifications that form the foundation of interoperability and data exchange, plus, carries broad industry expertise and system-to-system testing experience.

ICSA Labs, the testing and certification body chosen for this program is an ONC-authorized NVLAP accredited testing body and ANSI-accredited certification body that provide expert health IT analysts, and a proven testing and certification framework.

How does ConCert by HIMSS™align within ONC’s vision of Interoperability?

The program relies on tightly constrained specifications based on national standards including relevant profiles developed for the IHE Technical Framework specifications, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) certification criteria.

The ONC Interoperability Roadmap calls for industry to take critical actions around developing robust testing tools outside of ONC Certification. The robust Interoperability Test Tool (ITT) developed for the program to assure a high level of rigor, and now in use by the ConCert testing and certification program supports that call to action.

The ONC 2015 Edition Health IT Certification Criteria encourages the industry to provide health IT developers with more flexibility and opportunities for certification that support both interoperability and innovation. The ConCert by HIMSS testing and certification program does exactly that.

When will ConCert by HIMSS™be launched?

The new program was unveiled at the 2015 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago. A Pilot Program has been launched and will run through December, 2015.

What is the governance model for the ConCert by HIMSS™program?

The ConCert by HIMSS Advisory Committee is being established through balanced governance and key stakeholder representation. The Advisory Committee will provide program oversight, recommendations on future direction and scope, set priorities, determine program policy, and serve as champions for the program. Technical workgroups will also be formed within the IHE USA volunteer structure to help maintain and update the specifications/schema, and manage the test tools.

How will ConCert by HIMSS™ensure broad stakeholder representation?

Nine members will be appointed to the ConCert by HIMSS Advisory Committee, each for a two-year term, including representation from each of the following stakeholder groups:

  • States and/or regional HIEs or networks
  • EHR vendors
  • HIE Vendors
  • Healthcare provider organizations and/or Medical groups
  • Clinicians
  • Payers
  • Consumers

Additional seats are reserved for a representative from each of the program’s founding organizations including HIMSS, IHE USA, NYeC, and ICSA Labs.

What are the benefits of the ConCert by HIMSS™program for healthcare providers?

ConCert by HIMSS offers a one-of-a-kind, vendor-independent seal of approval for health information systems, designed to help provider organizations objectively evaluate solutions and their true impact on their organization over the short and long-term. A comprehensive program that streamlines the certification of products, ConCert by HIMSS reduces the need for costly custom interfaces and is backed by trusted names. It is transparent, collaborative and dedicated to innovation and the evolution of interoperable solutions that provide reliable systems integration and functionality. When a solution features the ConCert mark, organizations can be assured that the product is interoperable with other products and will include the ability to store, access and share the health information that an organization and its patients require.

What are the benefits for vendors to pursue ConCert by HIMSS™certification?

ConCert by HIMSS is a comprehensive certification for solutions that facilitate standards-based secure and reliable data exchange. Designed to simplify and streamline the certification process, the ConCert program saves vendors time and money that can instead be channeled into innovation. Organizations can get an edge on competition with the ConCert mark—the only vendor-independent certification that assures providers that products are interoperable and is backed by trusted industry leaders.

What does the ConCert by HIMSS™certification mark cover?

To address the differing needs of the many users of health IT, ConCert by HIMSS™includes three unique programs.

  • ConCert by HIMSS EHR™- for EHR systems that enable clinicians to share health information within and across care delivery communities, providing a simplified way for providers to send secure health information directly to trusted recipients, including patients, over the Internet. Supports both Query-based exchange and DIRECT exchange with the addition of the provider directory.
  • ConCert by HIMSS HIE™- for health information exchange (HIE) vendor systems that enable clinicians to share health information within and across care delivery communities.
  • ConCert by HIMSS HISP™- for health information services provider (HISP) systems with provider directory services that offer a simple way for providers to send secure health information directly to trusted recipients, including patients, over the internet.

Who is participating in the ConCert by HIMSS™Pilot Program?

The Pilot Program will be limited to twenty vendors and there are opportunities for additional vendors to join the program. Currently nine (9) Vendors have committed to test and certify their products by the end of 2015 as part of the ConCert Pilot Program including Cerner, CorePoint Health, Greenway Health, iPatientCare, Infor, InterSystems, MedFX, NextGen, and Pulse. iPatientCare has completed the ConCert EHR certification and is now fully compliant for QUERY-Based Exchange and DIRECT.

How does ConCert by HIMSS compare to HealtheWay, CareQuality, and CommonWell?

ConCert by HIMSS is a testing and certification program that assures secure and reliable data exchange between EHRs, HIEs, and HISPs. The ConCert program tests specifications based on technical transport standards that enable exchange between EHRs and HIEs within a community as well as EHRs and HISPs both within and across communities. ConCert by HIMSS is completely vendor-independent and network neutral.

HealtheWay provides services that enable health information exchange networks to interoperate. This exchange is considered an HIE to HIE model, whereas ConCert by HIMSS enables connectivity within a regional network (EHR to HIE). The ConCert by HIMSS and HealtheWay programs are highly complementary as many of the underlying standards for Query-based exchange are aligned to ensure a complete, interoperable EHR to EHR environment.

CareQuality is focused on implementing a framework to expand network interoperability beyond the members of the Healtheway eHealth Exchange. The effort includes specifications, but does not yet include testing or certification components.

CommonWell is a vendor-led data sharing network that is exclusive to the vendors that are part of that network.

How does ConCert by HIMSS support emerging standards such as HL7 FHIR®?

ConCert by HIMSS™is supportive of emerging standards that enable the interoperability of health IT solutions. For example, HL7 FHIR® is a next generation scalable standards framework that is web services based. IHE will continue to work with HL7 and other stakeholders to align specifications that leverage evolving standards and services as they mature. Healthcare providers need a dependable and mature set of standards to drive their interoperability capabilities today. The ConCert by HIMSS testing and certification program is positioned for the future, while based on a sound exchange infrastructure that delivers this high level of interoperability now.

How do I learn more about ConCert by HIMSS™?

Go to www.himssinnovationcenter.org/concert to learn more, or contact us at concert@himss.org with questions.