The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has authorized the nonprofit Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology to expand its certification scope of work for ambulatory electronic health record products to begin addressing some medical specialties and specialized care settings.
During the development of its first-generation criteria and inspection process for ambulatory EHRs, CCHIT received comments from practitioners and vendors in various medical specialties and practice settings eager to have their requirements addressed more specifically than was possible with the broad first-generation criteria. Issues raised include the clinical scenarios used in testing; criteria that might not be appropriate in certain settings; and the need for additional criteria beyond the broad basic set in others.
CCHIT will begin by establishing a fair and objective process for prioritizing which specialties should be addressed first. Factors in this prioritization will include the amount of criteria development work required, the readiness of the specialty to participate in development, and the potential positive impact certification could have on EHR adoption in the specialty.