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CCHIT: HIT at the Turning Point

February 20, 2009
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The Chicago-based Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) has updated a roadmap for expansion of its certification activities while at the same time emphasizing the importance of flexibility and responsiveness as the impacts of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act emerge.

The nine new programs set to launch in 2010 and beyond will extend certification to new specialties, settings, and populations, while also opening the door to labeling that recognizes advanced capabilities in EHRs as users become ready to adopt them, it says.

“I believe this is the most important turning point in the history of health IT, and of our organization as well,” said Mark Leavitt, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Commission. “With about $20B in funding and incentives for EHRs, health information exchange and associated technologies — based on certification as a key qualification — we must be very flexible and responsive as Federal health IT initiatives emerge and grow.”

The Board of Commissioners voted to begin development of four programs — Clinical Research, Dermatology, Advanced Interoperability and Advanced Quality — in 2010. These programs are in addition to two areas previously scheduled for a 2010 launch, Behavioral Health and Long Term Care. Four other certification programs will kick off in 2011: Eye Care, Oncology, Advanced Security and Advanced Clinical Decision Support. Development of Obstetrics/Gynecology certification was placed on a schedule for possible launch in 2012. The final expansion roadmap and public comments are available at www.cchit.org/expansion. Volunteer work group recruitment for new and existing certification programs will run from March 23 to April 20.

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