The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is getting on the open source bandwagon, announcing the availability of Cypress, the open source certification tool for testing the ability of complete or modular electronic health record systems to meet the requirements for clinical quality measure (CQM) reporting in Stage 2 Meaningful Use. The ONC funded the development of Cypress so that EHR vendors and testing labs would have the means to validate EHR systems and modules for 2014 EHR Certification. Currently, the division of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is awaiting official approval of the open source tool to be used as part of the certification program.
According to the Cypress website, the open source testing tool will ensure that eligible professionals and hospitals can successfully demonstrate meaningful use in the EHR Incentive Programs as it pertains to CQMs, which are given greater significance in Stage 2 Meaningful Use than in Stage 1:
The objective of Cypress is to enable repeatable and rigorous testing of an EHR’s ability to accurately calculate Meaningful Use Stage 2 Eligible Provider (EP) and Eligible Hospital (EH) Clinical Quality Measures. Cypress has been submitted to ONC for approval as the official CQM testing tool for operational use in Meaningful Use Clinical Quality Measure certification. At this time, Cypress is not intended serve as a complete certification testing tool. Further instruction and guidance will be forthcoming from ONC once an approved full production version of Cypress is ready.
Next month, the developers of the program expect to release its alpha version for EP CQMs on Nov. 2 and a beta version for EPs, EHs, and Quality Reporting Document Architecture (QRDA) on Nov. 13. Cypress does not help providers directly achieve meaningful use. Instead, it serves as the tool for qualifying systems and modules as certified EHR technology (CEHRT), which providers must use in order to receive payments from the EHR Incentive Programs.
As we’ve noted in our previous coverage of Stage 2 Meaningful Use, The second phase of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) EHR Incentive Programs places more emphasis than Stage 1 Meaningful Use on the importance of clinical quality measures (CQMs). Beginning with Stage 2, CMS is creating a separate place for these measures that puts them on par with core and menu objectives.
Learn more about Cypress.