EMR Certification FAQ
What is an EMR?
An EMR is a secure Electronic Medical Record which includes software and its associated database. It is the record that physicians use to capture patient information such as a patient's family history, lab requests and results, cancer screening tests, emergency room visits, prescriptions, and more.
What is an OntarioMD-certified Electronic Medical Record (EMR)?
An OntarioMD-certified EMR is an EMR that meets the current Ontario EMR Specifications and complies with additional requirements such as those relating to privacy and security practices, service levels and other obligations contained in an agreement with OntarioMD.
All certified EMR offerings must continue to comply with the Ontario EMR Specifications as they are updated from time to time to maintain their certified status.
Only OntarioMD-certified EMR offerings may be connected to provincial electronic health record (EHR) solutions and services such as the Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS), Health Report Manager (HRM) and future provincial EHR solutions and services as they become available.
Get more information on current Ontario EMR Specifications
Get more information on current OntarioMD certified EMRs
What are the Ontario EMR Specifications?
Ontario's EMR Specifications are the clinical,
business and technical requirements that EMR offerings must meet to be
certified by OntarioMD. Certified EMRs
enable physicians to participate in Ontario's EMR funding programs (if
available) and position physicians to access the patient information contained
in regional and provincial digital health assets such as the Ontario
Laboratories Information System (OLIS) and HealthReport Manager (HRM) and
future digital health assets as they become available.
By certifying an EMR offering, OntarioMD
does not warranty the functionality of the EMR or the ability of the EMR vendor
to support the EMR product and services. Only the EMR vendor can warranty the
functionality of its product and provide the necessary services to support it.
However, OntarioMD has processes it can invoke to remedy issues that may arise
with conformance to the Ontario EMR Specifications.
How does an EMR vendor's EMR offering
become certified against the Ontario EMR Specifications?
The validation process for EMR vendors to
be certified against Ontario EMR Specifications is available by visiting the
EMR Validation Overview section EMR Validation Process.
EMR offerings must be certified by
OntarioMD in order to access provincial EHR Solutions and Services like HRM,
OLIS and future provincial services such as eConsult, Immunizations, Drugs, etc.
OntarioMD has a trusted, long-standing relationship
with physicians and has established leading practices and a representative
voice to EMR vendors.
OntarioMD’s EMR Certification Program:
- Ensures consistent and
repeatable access to provincial EHR Solutions and Services, clinical tools and
the exchange of health information (through Specifications and certification)
across EMR offerings
- Provides direction,
prioritization and/or oversight of provincial EMR integration initiatives (EMR Roadmap)
- Provides opportunities for
collaborating on emerging EHR integration solutions (e.g., Proof of Concepts)
- Provides national market
visibility for EMR vendors with certified EMRs
- Coordinates practice-level
change management services with deployments coordinated through OntarioMD
(e.g., issues resolution, change management and support)
- Physicians should expect that
their chosen Certified EMR (and its EMR vendor) uphold requirements and obligations
for certification which support enhanced clinical tools, data quality and the
exchange of health information with EMRs
What is the difference between a hosted EMR and
a local EMR?
hosted EMRis a multi-tenanted application service provider or
software-as-a-service or cloud-based delivery model application accessed by
physicians and their staff over communications lines while the local EMR is
situated in one of the locations for the group of participating physicians. In
both cases, EMRs can be accessed from the practice or another location, such as
at home. Please see Local EMR Configurations for additional information.
The hosted EMR provides systems management
functions including disaster recovery, data security, business continuity,
capacity planning and server infrastructure, and facilities interacting with digital
With the local EMR, the physician or group
is responsible for implementing and maintaining system management functions.
Are we required to have any of the items
listed in the accreditation?
Accreditation is not a condition of EMR
certification, but rather provides visibility to clinicians to be better
informed that EMRs that have met specific community practice speciality
requirements. As such, it is not
mandatory for an EMR Offering to meet the requirements.
How can I make an informed decision in
selecting an EMR offering?
- Define your practice's
objectives; why do you want to adopt an EMR?
- Build and educate a selection
team. Your team should include a range of employees from different departments.
- Gather your functional,
technical, financial, and vendor requirements. What do you expect from your
- Evaluate the vendor.How are
vendors responding to your requirements and how do they perform when challenged
with clinical scenarios?
- Perform site visits and ask
your colleagues for references. What are your colleagues' experiences with
- Negotiate a contract. Can you
come to an agreement with your preferred vendor? You may wish to have the
contract reviewed by the OMA.
OntarioMD's staff and Peer Leaders are always available to help and answer any questions.
For more information, watch OntarioMD's
video, "Selecting Your EMR Vendor"
How can I prepare my practice for an
Prepare your practice for an EMR by contacting
one of OntarioMD's Practice Advisors at 1-866-339-1233 or
email@example.com. They will work with you to help establish your goals,
understand your technology needs, go through the selection process, and help
you get the most out of your EMR after you've implemented it.
For more information, watch OntarioMD's
video, "Prepare Your Practice For EMR"
Is funding still available for
Physician enrollment into the OntarioMD
physician funding program which supported the adoption of EMRs closed in March
2015. Some physicians who may still be receiving funding under this program
will continue to do so, so long as they remain in alignment with their funding
agreement obligations (e.g.:, use of an OntarioMD Certified EMR).