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CCHIT Approves Latest Criteria

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) announced that it has approved final 2009-2010 criteria for certification of Ambulatory (office-based), Inpatient (hospital-based), and Emergency Department electronic health records (EHRs) and for its newly developed stand-alone Electronic Prescribing certification. The commission also approved updated criteria for the Ambulatory add-on options in Child Health and Cardiovascular Medicine. Besides the detailed criteria and test scripts, the CCHIT will publish a companion guide mapping the criteria to the characteristics of a qualified EHR as described in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The materials will be published on May 29 at www.cchit.org.

The Certification Handbook, containing the policies of the commission’s certification programs, is undergoing a significant revision to take into account the expanded applicability of EHR certification under the recovery act. Changes will include a more extensive verification of successful implementation and use of commercial products, as well as piloting of a new program to inspect and certify EHR technologies-in-use that will accommodate a wider variety of development and deployment models. The commission has also formed a subcommittee to research usability measurement.

Regarding the opening date for vendor applications to achieve 2009-2010 certification, CCHIT Chair Mark Leavitt, MD, PhD, notes, “According to the recently released Program Implementation Plan for ONC, their Draft Rule—which includes standards and certification criteria—must be submitted to HHS by August 26, 2009. We will defer launch of our 2009-2010 inspection programs until we have reviewed that material in order to ensure conformance of this program to ARRA incentive requirements.”

The commission expects to release the updated Certification Handbook and announce further details regarding application for 2009-2010 certification during June or July.

Source: Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology