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CCHIT Announces First Batch of Certified Long-Term Care EHRs

The Certification Commission recently announced the first group of EHRs to be certified under the CCHIT Certified 2011 program for Long Term and Post Acute Care (LTPAC), which includes EHR use in care settings such as skilled nursing facilities, home healthcare, hospice and rehabilitation centers.

“This CCHIT certification offers LTPAC providers greater assurance that their EHR systems will support their individual patient care and business needs,” says Cynthia Morton, executive vice president of the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care. “Our association supports CCHIT’s efforts to raise the bar for EHRs used in these care settings.”

Products that have been certified under the CCHIT Certified 2011 LTPAC program including additional certification in Skilled Nursing Facility and Home Health are  AOD Software, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Answers EHR, version Autumn 2011; and  HealthMEDX, Inc., Vision, Ozark, Mo., HealthMEDX Vision, version 7.1.10.  

CCHIT certification is an independently developed, rigorous inspection of integrated EHR functionality, interoperability, and security. As part of the process, successful use is verified at live sites.

“LTPAC providers are not currently eligible for EHR adoption incentives under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s (ARRA) HITECH program,” says John Derr, leader of strategic clinical technology for Golden Living, LLC and a member of CCHIT’s board of trustees. “Yet, LTPAC providers know that EHRs are important to the quality of care for patients discharged to them. The evolving ARRA incentives are based, in part, on hospitals demonstrating electronically that they meet quality measures and share patient information with other providers. It’s an advantage to LTPAC providers who want to form partnerships with hospitals to adopt CCHIT Certified LTPAC EHRs. CCHIT’s certification of an EHR’s integrated interoperability and security features will prove invaluable as providers seek to participate in community healthcare organizations designed to foster coordination across the spectrum of care. CCHIT certification is a win-win for all.”

LTPAC EHRs may also be certified in the federal Office of the National Coordinator authorized EHR certification program for eligible providers and hospitals if they meet those criteria.

“CCHIT’s newest certifications are designed to satisfy special care requirements, and are part of the comprehensive CCHIT Certified program, which goes beyond the federal EHR certification criteria in order to meet clinicians’ future health IT needs,” says Karen Bell, MD, chair of CCHIT. “The volunteer advisory panel and work group that developed this first round of LTPAC certification criteria were broadly representative of that community. They wisely developed both a core LTPAC certification that can be applied to all EHRs and they prioritized some add-on criteria for skilled nursing and home care. That approach gives all LTPAC EHR companies and providers an opportunity to benefit from this new certification program.”

CCHIT also offers special EHR certification programs for Cardiovascular Medicine, Child Health, Emergency Departments, Behavioral Health, Dermatology, Oncology and Clinical Research.

Source: Certification Commission for Health Information Technology