CCHIT Approves Latest Criteria

I might be the first person to actually blog during his CCHIT Workgroup meeting, but it really isn't taking much double-tasking to do it, as it's a cut-and-paste.  From CCHIT itself:


Plans Program Changes to Meet New Federal Needs

CHICAGO – May 19, 2008 – The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT®) today announced that it has approved final 2009-2010 criteria for certification of Ambulatory (office-based), Inpatient (hospital-based), and Emergency Department electronic health records (EHR), and for its newly developed stand-alone Electronic Prescribing certification.  The Commission also approved updated criteria for the Ambulatory add-on options in Child Health and Cardiovascular Medicine.  Besides the detailed criteria and test scripts, the Commission will publish a companion guide mapping the criteria to the characteristics of a qualified EHR as described in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  The materials will be published on May 29 at

“Over 200 volunteers have demonstrated their commitment to improving health and care by delivering this extensive body of work, on time as promised,” said Mark Leavitt, M.D., Ph.D., Commission chair.  “We will be offering these certification criteria promptly to the Federal HIT Policy and Standards Committees, along with data from our four years of experience certifying health IT, as the Committees race to meet their tight deadlines.”

The Certification Handbook, containing the policies of the Commission’s certification programs, is undergoing a significant revision to take into account the expanded applicability of EHR certification under ARRA.  Changes will include a more extensive verification of successful implementation and use of commercial products, as well as piloting of a new program to inspect and certify EHR technologies-in-use that will accommodate a wider variety of development and deployment models.  The Commission has also formed a sub-committee to research usability measurement.

Regarding the opening date for vendor applications to achieve 2009-2010 certification, Dr. Leavitt noted “according to the recently released Program Implementation Plan for ONC, their Draft Rule – which includes standards and certification criteria -- must be submitted to HHS by August 26, 2009.  We will defer launch of our 2009-2010 inspection programs until we have reviewed that material, in order to ensure conformance of this program to ARRA incentive requirements.”  The Commission will release the updated Certification Handbook and announce further details regarding application for 2009-2010 certification during June or July.

C Sue Reber

Marketing Director, CCHIT
Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology
503.288.5876 office | 503.703.0813 cell | 503.287.4613 fax

Now, I am still convinced that the CCHIT/HIT stimulus package is almost worthy of being called a scam.  I am not alone. But we have done a lot of interesting work on the Child Health group and I'm impressed with some of the results.  Pediatricians should be aware of where the market will be driven.