CCHIT offers modular program focusing on meaningful use

By Molly Merrill
04:35 PM

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology on Tuesday launched a new modular certification program called Preliminary ARRA 2011, which will focus solely on 'meaningful use' objectives and accompanying standards needed to qualify for federal stimulus funding.

The modular certification process was released along with the CCHIT's updated certification program, called CCHIT Certified 2011.

"Our decision to move forward instead of waiting has been met with a very positive response," said Alisa Ray, CCHIT's executive director. "The 'Get Certified' workshop on October 1 exceeded our attendance expectations, drawing over 310 people, with strong interest in both programs. Today, we are opening both of our 2011 programs for certification applications from vendors and developers."

The commission has introduced a new label, called "Certification Facts," to help physicians and hospitals understand the differences in the EHR technology certified under the two separate programs. Each certified product or technology listed at the commission's Web site will have a link to a page describing its qualifications.

For EHRs in the CCHIT Certified 2011 Comprehensive program, the Certification Facts label will indicate not only the domain – ambulatory, inpatient, emergency department or ePrescribing – and options – cardiovascular medicine, child health and advanced interoperability – but also the meaningful use objectives supported by the product.

In addition to the Certification Facts label, that page will include – for CCHIT-certified products only – an optional Usability Rating, as well as information about the product and company. The commission says these features will become searchable in November or December as EHR products complete the 2011 inspection process and are announced.

For technology certified in the Preliminary ARRA 2011 program, the Certification Facts label will only indicate which of the meaningful use objectives are supported by the technology. The label will allow eligible providers and hospitals to understand which product – or products in combination – can support all the necessary objectives to qualify for incentive funding contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.