Certification Commission accelerates certification development

By Diana Manos
10:30 AM

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology will accelerate its development of advanced technology certification programs to include clinical decision support, interoperability, quality and security in the upcoming 2009-2010 development cycle. Clinical decision support and security were not scheduled to be completed until 2011. 

"We see evidence that the health IT programs under the Recovery Act will be implemented according to the ambitious schedules in the legislation," said Mark Leavitt, MD, Commission chair. "For CCHIT to ensure that a robust selection of certification options will be available when the HIT Policy and Standards Committees make their decisions later this year, our own schedule must be equally ambitious. That's why we have decided to develop all four of these advanced certification options at once."

According to Leavitt, advanced technology certification in the four new areas complements the Commission’s core certification programs in multiple domains, giving policymakers as well as healthcare IT buyers more options. 

In an earlier announcement of its expansion roadmap, the Commission emphasized the need for flexibility and responsiveness, adapting the certification cycle as needed to support the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Because of the certification expansion, CCHIT announced a brief delay in the opening of the Commission’s annual volunteer recruitment period so the application data collection system can be updated, adding four additional work group choices for participants, a CCHIT statement said. 

CCHIT will begin accepting volunteer applications March 26, instead of the originally scheduled March 23. The application window will close on April 20. The new advanced technology work groups are open to all applicants.