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CCHIT Cites Growth in ONC-ATCB Certification for EHRs

July 9, 2012
by Jennifer Prestigiacomo
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The Chicago-based Certification Commission announced today that Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital, affiliates and founding members of Partners HealthCare System, are the latest providers to certify their installed EHR technology under CCHIT’s EHR Alternative Certification for Healthcare Providers, or EACH, an Office of the National Coordinator authorized testing and certification program (ONC-ATCB) for 2011/2012.  EACH meets the needs of hospitals and other providers that have uncertified legacy software, customized commercial products, or have developed their own EHR systems tailored to their individual needs.

EHR technology newly certified by the EACH program includes:

  • Partners Healthcare EHR (by Partners HealthCare System)
  • MGH EHR, Version 1.0 (by Massachusetts General Hospital)
  • BWH EHR, Version 1.1 (by Brigham and Women’s Hospital)

“These organizations join almost 30 healthcare providers  with multiple products that have received CCHIT EACH certification since the program was launched last year,” said Alisa Ray, executive director, CCHIT in a statement.  “As the originator of EHR certification, CCHIT has the depth of experience needed to meet the complex needs of large health care systems and group medical practices that have over the years invested significant resources in EHR systems that now must be certified to meet federal requirements supporting Meaningful Use.  As these providers prepare to apply for the financial incentives offered in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, they cannot always rely on vendor certification of products to meet that requirement. This is an alternative path to help them meet that need.”

The EACH program offers:

  • A series of self-paced, online learning programs designed to prepare EACH program applicants for ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 testing and certification
  • Online inventory and self-assessment tools developed to help healthcare providers evaluate how their installed EHR technology measures up to ONC’s criteria and standards
  • Additional support provided by CCHIT’s EACH program staff and access to an online community of other providers participating in  the EACH program

Certified EHR technology is required for eligible providers and hospitals to qualify for HITECH funding and avoid future Medicare penalties. The EACH certification testing relies on standards and criteria developed by Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and testing procedures and tools developed for ONC by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Providers may certify complete EHRs or EHR modules.
 

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