A special task force created by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) to provide strategic guidance on development for certification for long term and post acute care EHRs has completed its work, recommending a strong focus on the EHR technology requirements of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
On June 16, the Long Term and Post Acute Care (LTPAC) Advisory Task Force delivered its recommendations to the CCHIT, which approved them unanimously. During its six weeks of work, the task force agreed that the LTPAC technical work group should identify core certification criteria common to four priority care settings for use in the initial EHR certification. These care settings are as follows:
• Skilled Nursing and Nursing Facilities;
• Medicare Certified Home Health Agencies;
• Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities; and
• Long Term Acute Care Hospitals.
Other recommendations include reusing or adapting existing criteria from other CCHIT certification programs; identifying additional criteria specific to each care setting; and including a roadmap indicating when the criteria are expected to be implemented.
“Long term and post acute care is a growing and important healthcare segment,” says John Derr, RPh, senior vice president and chief technology strategic officer for Golden Living, LLC, and a commission cochair of the task force. “The four priority care settings are just the beginning. The patients and residents under LTPAC care transition between many care settings depending upon their clinical requirements. The task force began this process with a priority-setting process for all care settings. Criteria will be developed for other care settings like assisted living, independent care, and hospice after the initial four are completed.”
The newly appointed LTPAC Work Group will receive these recommendations, along with other commission recommendations on its scope of work, and begin the process of developing criteria for certification of LTPAC EHRs at its first face-to-face meeting July 15 to 16. The Advisory Task Force, which includes representatives from skilled nursing facility, assisted living, home care, hospice, HIT, and government and consumer organizations, will continue to provide input on EHR certification to the CCHIT’s LTPAC Work Group. EHR certification for the first two settings, skilled nursing facilities and certified home healthcare, is expected to be available in 2010 during a phased rollout of the commission’s newly developed 2011-2012 ARRA EHR certification programs.
Source: Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology