The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) has certified 18 more electronic health record (EHR) products for use in doctors’ offices as meeting the commission’s standards, bringing the total to 55.
Commission officials said about one-quarter of the EHR products on the market have achieved certification, just nine months after they launched the certification process.
“The rapid acceptance of certification in the marketplace has far exceeded our expectations,” Dr. Mark Leavitt, CCHIT’s chairman, said in a statement. “Electronic health record companies have stepped up to the plate, ensuring that their products meet CCHIT criteria and actively promoting certification as a mark of excellence. The benefits of certification will increase as we continue to raise the standards for functionality, interoperability and security.”
Products that are voluntarily submitted for testing and pass the tests for compliance with the published CCHIT standards can advertise that they are CCHIT-certified. The commission is an independent nonprofit organization that receives financial support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The commission will publish a new set of certification criteria and test scripts for 2007 for a final round of public comment from Feb. 14 to Feb. 28. The new criteria and scripts then go to the CCHIT Board of Commissioners for final approval, which is expected in mid-March. Applications for certification of ambulatory EHRs using the 2007 criteria can be submitted on or after May 1.
CCHIT also will post on its Web site during the month of February a draft report and proposed road map for expanding EHR certification to address additional professional specialties, care settings and patient populations. The commission is scheduled to approve plans for this expansion of its work at its March meeting.
The commission is also working on certification for EHR systems used in hospitals. Officials expect the new inpatient EHR certification program to be launched in the third quarter of 2007.