The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) announced today the launch of new CCHIT Certified programs for electronic health records (EHRs) in behavioral health, both as an optional addition to ambulatory EHR certification and as a standalone behavioral health EHR used in other outpatient settings, dermatology, and long-term and post-acute care, which also includes optional add-on certifications for EHRs used in skilled nursing facilities and home health.
Applications for certification of these products are now being accepted and final criteria, test scripts, and certification materials are available. The Chicago-based CCHIT also offers special certification programs for cardiovascular medicine, child health, and emergency departments. In addition, a certification program for EHRs used in clinical research will be available in fall 2010, and programs in women’s health and oncology are in development for launch in spring 2011.
The criteria and inspection processes for these new CCHIT Certified programs were developed by work group volunteers representing a broad range of expertise, including physicians, hospitals, health IT developers, payers, health care purchasers, and consumers. The certification development process included evaluating provider needs, understanding currently available standards, analyzing public response to drafted criteria and test scripts, and publication of a future roadmap of certification requirements for these new areas.
Applicants for CCHIT Certified product certification will be able to apply separately for testing and certification against the criteria and standards published as a final rule on July 13 by The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), when that program is available. CCHIT is currently certifying products in a preliminary ARRA program designed to test product readiness for final certification. Eligible providers and hospitals must use certified EHR technology certified in the HHS program to qualify for funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).