CCHIT Remains the Only Certifying Body for EHRs—But Not for Long

Carrie Vaughan, for HealthLeaders Media , August 18, 2009

CCHIT's plan would also include options for certifying health IT products and services like e-prescribing and decision support, so that healthcare organizations and physicians who do not have a comprehensive EHR system can still prove meaningful use and qualify for stimulus funds.

The certification workgroup's recommendations also focused on:

  1. Focus certification on meaningful use.
  2. Leverage the certification process to improve progress on security, privacy, and interoperability.
  3. Improve the objectivity and transparency of the certification process.
  4. Expand certification to include a range of software sources, including open-source and home-grown systems.
  5. Develop a short-term certification transition plan.

For more analysis of each focus area, check out this blog entry, "CCHIT has a Seat at Table–for Now" from Chilmark Research, a healthcare technology industry analyst firm.

While the debate surrounding CCHIT as the sole certifying agency may have ended, there are still many questions that remain. For example, how long will it take for other certifying bodies to be approved? Will vendors that have been certified by CCHIT for the 2008 criteria have to go through that process all over again? If not, who will qualify for gap certification? Stay tuned. There are new developments just about every day.

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Carrie Vaughan is a senior editor with HealthLeaders magazine. She can be reached at

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