More EHR Products Get Certified
Eleven electronic health record products were recently given a seal of approval by the industry group the Certification Committee for Healthcare Information Technology.
The certification is the first for ambulatory EHR products and is designed to ensure functionality, interoperability and security standards. To be certified, a product must entirely comply with more than 200 CCHIT criteria.
In July of 2006, about two dozen EHR products received the very first wave of CCHIT endorsements; this is the second wave of approvals.
Seventeen applications were submitted for product approval in early August, but six of them either withdrew application, postponed inspection or failed to meet criteria.
The newly certified products are:
In addition, Streamline MD by ProPractica was designated CCHIT Certified as a privately labeled version of a previously certified product.
CCHIT was initially founded in late 2004 by a group of 21 makers of electronic health care records, with support from three major health IT industry associations: The American Health Information Management Association; the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society; and The National Alliance for Health Information Technology.
In the fall of 2005, CCHIT was awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop, create prototypes and evaluate certification criteria and inspection processes for EHRs and the networks through which they interoperate.
Another project coming up for CCHIT is the development of laboratory environment and testing tools to establish the interoperability of electronic health records.
The 2006 certifications were not based upon systematic testing, but rather observations and testing during a juror demonstration.
Starting in 2007, CCHIT intends to require testing in a laboratory environment. The industry group recently allowed public comment and feedback on the best types of systematic testing it should employ.
CCHIT is also rolling out a new certification for ambulatory EHR systems that were internally developed in physician offices and hospitals, rather than marketed by technology providers. This process is slated to begin in November.
"We have had requests from several organizations for this type of certification," said Alisa Ray, CCHITs executive director.
"We want to make sure that we are responsive to their needs as the use of certified products becomes a growing requirement in incentive programs."
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