Hospital EHR certification criteria open for public comment

By Bernie Monegain, Editor Healthcare IT News

CHICAGO – Proposed certification criteria for hospital electronic health record systems opened for public review Thursday. The comment period extends through March 16.

Materials are posted on the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology Web site. Comments can be submitted on the Web site.

Also, the commission has published a test script for ambulatory EHR certification. The new test script was posted Wednesday and opened a final 14-day public comment period that runs through Feb. 28.

The new criteria will take effect May 1, and will include new requirements for electronically sending prescriptions as well as receiving laboratory test results – the first CCHIT interoperability criteria.

A pilot test to validate the 2007 ambulatory EHR test scripts was completed successfully and on time, said Alisa Ray, CCHIT executive director. The pilot test participants represented a range of company sizes and included Community Computer Service; Greenway Medical Technologies; NextGen Healthcare Information Systems; and Nightingale Informatix Corp.

Last month the commission announced certification of 18 electronic health record products, bringing to 55 the total ambulatory products certified.

CCHIT has scheduled a Town Hall meeting at Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society annual conference in New Orleans to review and take questions on current and future certification plans. The meeting is set for Feb. 27 from 9:45-11:45 a.m. Also at HIMSS, CCHIT will offer two orientation session to help companies with hospital-based EHR criteria. Those sessions are set for Feb. 27. One is from 3-4 p.m. The other is from 4-5 p.m.

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