Health IT Certification

Background

http://www.hhs.gov/healthit/certification/background/
With the emergence of health information technology (health IT) and the demonstrated benefits of the electronic management of health information, purchasers and other users of health IT systems need to be assured that the systems that will:
  • Provide needed capabilities;
  • Securely manage information and protect confidentially; and
  • Work with other systems without reprogramming
Health IT certification can provide this assurance, increasing confidence that healthcare professionals have in health IT systems when they make purchase decisions and confidence that consumers have that their information is secure and appropriately available. Confidence in health IT systems is an important part of advancing their adoption and allowing for the realization of the benefits of the national health IT agenda.
To accomplish these goals, Health IT certification has established a public-private process to develop specific criteria for health IT systems and to then rigorously evaluate systems to establish that they truly meet these criteria for:
  • Functionality – ensuing that the systems can support the activities and perform the functions for which they are intended
  • Security – ensuring that systems can protect and maintain the confidentiality of data entrusted to them ; and
  • Interoperability – ensuring that system can connect to, and exchange information with, other systems
Certification ensures that healthcare professionals can use health IT on a daily basis to improve the quality of their daily work. Certified health IT products will help reduce the risks of health IT investment by healthcare professionals and help advance the national IT agenda.

CCHIT

Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT)
Three leading HIT industry associations - � the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), and The National Alliance for Health Information Technology (The Alliance) joined forces in July 2004 to launch CCHIT as a voluntary, private-sector organization to certify health IT products. In September 2005, HHS awarded CCHIT a three-year contract to develop and evaluate certification criteria and create an inspection process for health IT. HHS has now asked CCHIT to advance certification in these areas:
  1. Ambulatory Electronic Health Records (EHRs) - for the office-based clinician
  2. Inpatient EHRs - for hospitals and health systems
  3. Health networks - through which EHRs and other health related systems will share information
  4. Components of developing Personal Health Records (PHRs)
  5. EHRs for specialty practices and special care settings
As the CCHIT continues to develop and refine its efforts, it will focus more specifically on areas that can support specific aspects of health and health care. In 2007 some of these areas will include:
  • EHRs focusing on professional specialties with cardiovascular medicine selected as the first area of specialization
  • EHRs focusing on specific populations including child and behavioral health
  • EHRs focusing on specific care settings including the emergency department and long term care
To date, CCHIT has developed ambulatory and inpatient certification criteria and certified a substantial portion of the ambulatory care EHR market. Specific work can be found in these products:
For additonal detailed information about CCHIT, Click here to visit CCHIT’s homepage