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CCHIT Announces Certification Town Calls

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) has announced a series of two town call Web conferences on June 16 and 17 to gather stakeholder input on new paths to certification of electronic health record (EHR) technologies, with the goal of supporting more rapid, widespread adoption and meaningful use under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).  

“ARRA has turbocharged the drive for health IT adoption and meaningful use,” says Mark Leavitt, MD, PhD, commission chair. “Certification—an explicit requirement of that law—must become more robust and more flexible at the same time, to allow these powerful incentives to deliver the desired result: improved health and healthcare. We will share our new ideas and invite feedback from the health community.”

Areas to be explored during the town calls include the crosswalk from certification to meaningful use, enhancements to current programs, and new and updated programs to make certification more accessible to a wider variety of EHR technologies, including modular, self-developed, and open source applications.  

The first town call, “New Paths to Certification: Dialog with the Open Source Community,” will take place June 16 at 1 pm Eastern and will focus on concerns regarding certification of applications licensed under open source models. During the Web conference, Leavitt and Dennis Wilson, the CCHIT’s technology director, will discuss the new concepts from the perspective of technology developers.

The second town call, “New Paths to Certification,” will take place June 17 at 11 am Eastern and is intended for a general audience, exploring all of the new programs and their intended goals.  During both events, participants will be invited to submit questions and comments online. Registration is required for the free town calls at http://cchit.org/towncalls.

The CCHIT is actively adapting its certification programs and timelines to conform to the new requirements of the ARRA as the definition of meaningful use emerges. Instead of immediately launching a 2009-10 certification program, the commission submitted its newly released 09 criteria to the Health Information Technology Standards Committee for review and, anticipating a draft definition of meaningful use by June 16 and draft standards and certification criteria by August 26, will work to quickly resolve any gaps and begin accepting applications for newly designed certification programs as quickly as possible after that.  

Source: Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology