If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em

The letter begins:

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) is pleased to notify you that you have been selected to serve as a member of the Child Health Workgroup for our 2008-2009 certification development.

More than once, I have complained about the misuse and misunderstanding of CCHIT certification, especially for pediatricians. And I see, on places like the MGMA mailing lists, a fairly constant stream of dangerous commentary (“You should only consider systems that are CCHIT certified, as that guarantees XYZ.” Which it doesn’t.).

An intrepid reader of this blog suggested I apply to participate on Child Health Committee. After all, wouldn’t it be hypocritical of me to complain about the certification and not do something about it? I applied and suspect that any gaps in my CV related to pediatricians/computers/clinical IT were filled by having a few friends in the right places and here I am. The first meeting is in July.

So…if you have any questions, comments, input, etc., related to electronic health/medical records for children, lay them on me. I sincerely intend to represent the “typical practicing pediatrician” during this process and will use my experience in the hundreds of offices I know and have visited. If you have an experience you’d like to relate or a question you’d like to ask or an issue you’d like addressed, share it here or email me directly. To date, I don’t think that CCHIT has done much good for pediatricians – in fact, I think it has done some harm. And the path that they are on seems somewhat beholden to other interests (why Child Health certified EMR vendors will be required to track “Pain Levels” before growth charts is a good example). But my perspective on that isn’t nearly as powerful as yours.

Cross your fingers and wish me luck! [Oh, John Canning made it on a workgroup or two himself – TWO PCCers with their toes in the door of CCHIT! They don’t know what they’re in for.]

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