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CCHIT Announces New Criteria

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT)-approved criteria and test scripts, developed during the 09 development cycle, have been published on its Web site, www.cchit.org, along with a newly developed “Concise Guide to CCHIT Criteria.” The guide maps the criteria to the characteristics of a qualified electronic health record (EHR) as specified in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and highlights the 09 criteria changes. The commission is also planning to transition its certification program timelines to adapt to the new requirements of the ARRA.

The criteria released pertain to Ambulatory (office-based), Inpatient (hospital-based), Enterprise, and Emergency Department EHRs, as well as for the newly developed stand-alone e-prescribing certification. The CCHIT also published criteria for the ambulatory add-on options in child health and cardiovascular medicine. The accompanying “Concise Guide to CCHIT Criteria” is specific to the ambulatory and inpatient criteria.

“With the release of these criteria, the commission is transitioning its certification program timelines to adapt to the new requirements of ARRA as well as the still-emerging work processes of the Office of the National Coordinator and its Advisory Committees,” says Chair Mark Leavitt, MD, PhD. “Instead of immediately launching a 2009-10 certification program, we have submitted the criteria to the Health Information Technology Standards Committee for review, anticipating some feedback by August 26, after which we will work to quickly resolve any gaps and begin accepting applications for the 2009-10 certification programs. Meanwhile, we will be very busy updating our policies and testing new ideas with the goal of offering an array of certification programs to support more rapid, widespread adoption and meaningful use of EHR technologies.”

During his testimony to the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics last month, Leavitt highlighted areas to be explored, including EHR ratings on usability and successful implementation, updates to policies posing a barrier to certification of open source licensed applications, and certifying self-developed, assembled, and modular EHR technology. The commission plans to announce town calls or other communication opportunities soon to gather stakeholder input in these areas.

Source: Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology