The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT, Chicago) says it will adjust its certification programs for EHRs and reopen applications and testing on April 7.
With the re-launch, the organization will complete a separation of its CCHIT Certified program from its Preliminary ARRA program, launched in October 2009 in anticipation of the need for a modular testing and certification service that would become accredited by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The Commission says it will update its Web site to offer clarity about the objectives and status of both programs, especially regarding their relationship to the government accreditation process, and will prepare for a prompt conversion of the Preliminary ARRA program into an ONC-accredited ARRA testing and certification program.
Starting April 7, the Commission will once more accept applications, continue its testing and issue two types of EHR certifications, it says. A product may receive one or both of these certifications:
- CCHIT Certified, an independently developed certification that includes an inspection of an EHR’s integrated functionality, interoperability and security. Products that are CCHIT Certified are tested against criteria developed by the Commission’s work groups.
- Preliminary ARRA, a certification program that tests Complete EHRs or EHR Modules against the Meaningful Use Stage 1 certification criteria in the Interim Final Rule (IFR) issued by HHS/ONC in January. The Preliminary ARRA program is designed to demonstrate that a vendor’s product is well prepared to be certified once ONC-accredited testing and certification becomes available, but the final criteria and test procedures are not yet available, nor has CCHIT been accredited yet by ONC. When those events occur, CCHIT will replace the Preliminary ARRA program with a final, ONC-accredited ARRA certification program.
Program materials, including revised program policies, applications, criteria, test scripts and other guidance will be available at
www.cchit.org/get_certified beginning on April 7.