CCHIT announces three new certification programs for EHRs
The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) announced Tuesday the launch of new CCHIT Certified programs in three specialty areas for electronic health records.
The new programs focus on Behavioral Health – both as an optional addition to Ambulatory EHR certification and as a standalone Behavioral Health EHR used in other outpatient settings – Dermatology, and Long-Term and Post-Acute Care (which also includes optional add-on certifications for EHRs used in skilled nursing facilities and home health).
Applications for certification of these products are now being accepted and final criteria, test scripts and certification materials are available at cchit.org.
CCHIT also offers special certification programs for Cardiovascular Medicine, Child Health and Emergency Departments. In addition, a certification program for EHRs used in Clinical Research will be available in fall 2010, and programs in Women’s Health and Oncology are in development for launch in spring 2011.
"These certification programs represent the Commission’s ongoing commitment to increase the value of health IT for patients and providers by addressing the needs of individual medical specialties, care settings and patient populations," said Karen Bell, MD, commission chair. “These independently-developed CCHIT Certified programs go beyond the current federal minimum requirements in order to meet the longer-term needs of healthcare providers for robust EHRs with integrated functionality, interoperability and security.”
Health IT developers who voluntarily participated in the pilot testing of these new CCHIT programs include: Answers on Demand, Inc.; HealthMEDX, Inc.; Netsmart Technologies; NextGen Healthcare; NexTech Systems, Inc; Texas Department of State Health Services; UNI/CARE Systems, Inc., and XLEMR
The criteria and inspection processes for the new CCHIT Certified programs were developed by work group volunteers, including physicians, hospitals, health IT developers, payers, healthcare purchasers and consumers. The certification development process included evaluating provider needs, understanding currently available standards, analyzing public response to drafted criteria and test scripts, and publication of a future roadmap of certification requirements for these new areas.
Applicants for CCHIT Certified product certification will be able to apply separately for testing and certification against the criteria and standards published as a Final Rule on July 13 by The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), when that program is available.
CCHIT is currently certifying products in a preliminary ARRA program designed to test product readiness for final certification. Eligible providers and hospitals must use certified EHR technology certified in the HHS program to qualify for funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). “Last week we announced that we have applied to become an ONC Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB),” Bell said.