The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) announced this week that it will no longer offer Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT (ONC) electronic health record (EHR) testing and certification services or its independently developed certification programs.
"With these changes, we can provide a greater level of support and counsel to providers and vendors, something we could not undertake as a government authorized certification body," Alisa Ray, CCHIT executive director, said in a statement. "At the same time, returning to our independent work, we can convene thought leaders and advisory groups to provide policy and governance recommendations, and guidance to the healthcare community here and internationally."
The reason the Chicago-based nonprofit gave for discontinuing its certification service is that it says the pace of ONC 2014 Edition certification has been slowed by the challenges of more rigorous criteria and testing. Thus, CCHIT says the timing and nature of future federal health IT program requirements remain uncertain.
CCHIT has told its customers they should accept an offer from ICSA Labs to maintain their certification or apply for new testing services. The nonprofit has also restructured its board of trustees, as part of the announcement.
One thing CCHIT plans on keeping is its subscription-based ONC testing and certification preparation service, called "The Source." This helps with certification management services including searchable guidance, preparation tools, forums and webinars to help successfully complete ONC 2014 Edition testing and certification. CCHIT aims to add new services for developers focused on understanding ONC certification criteria and test methods, interoperability, and clinical quality measures and meaningful use reporting.
It also plans on develvoping programs and holding summits and events that will include "HIT thought leaders" and "multi-stakeholder advisory groups." The plan is to launch the new services at HIMSS' annual conference, next month in Orlando.