CCHIT to Launch Custom EHR Certification for Hospitals

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) has announced that it will launch a new custom EHR certification programs for hospitals on December 15, 2010.  CCHIT is one of three ONC-Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies designated by the government.

CCHIT’s EACH program (EHR Alternative Certification for Hospitals) will be used to test and certify hospitals that have uncertified legacy software, customized commercial products or have developed their own EHR software internally.  Alternative certification is not necessary if a hospital has adopted an EHR that has already achieve complete  certification, or a combination of certified EHR modules that meet all of the 2011/2012 ONC certification criteria.

“Until now, CCHIT’s ONC-ATCB certification was available only for health IT vendor developed products,” said Alisa Ray, executive director, CCHIT. “Our new certification program is an alternative for hospitals that have developed their systems with products that are not individually certified or are a mix of certified and uncertified products. These hospital electronic health records software are often very sophisticated and may have been developed over many years. Yet, they must be certified for hospitals to qualify for financial incentives through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and avoid Medicare penalties.”

“Hospitals certifying products in this new program can be assured that they meet a critical first step in qualifying for ARRA incentive payments and that their EHR technology is prepared to support the achievement of meaningful use by its clinicians,” Ray added.