News | June 22, 2008

Certification Commission Publishes Criteria for Inpatient, Emergency Department EHRs

June 23, 2008 - The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology last week published its final criteria for certification of inpatient (hospital-based) and emergency department electronic health record (EHR) products, as well as a special enterprise EHR certification for vendors that provide comprehensive ambulatory, inpatient, and emergency department EHRs that are interoperable.

The first round of applications for certification under these new 2008 criteria will be accepted Aug. 1-14, with certified products expected to be announced in November. The final certification criteria, test scripts and associated program policy documents are published on the commission's Web site,

A town call teleconference for vendors interested in certification, especially those offering emergency department EHRs or seeking enterprise certification, is scheduled for Thursday, July 10 to introduce these new programs. Time and details of the teleconference will be available at

The publication of these materials wraps up the commission’s development work on EHR certification for the CCHIT Certified 2008 program. The commission published the final ambulatory, child health and cardiovascular medicine criteria on May 20, and will be accepting certification applications in those domains from July 1-14.
“We believe 08 certification adds value for all stakeholders as well as embracing new domains of care,” said Mark Leavitt, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the commission. “Ambulatory and inpatient EHRs must now be able to send and receive clinical summaries in the CCD format - making basic elements of health records, such as medications and allergies, interoperable and portable for the first time. And with new health IT adoption incentive programs - such as the CMS EHR Demonstration Project - now being launched, vendors serious about the EHR market will want to attain 08 certification.”

The commission also announced the participants in the 2008 pilot tests. The pilot tests were designed to validate new or revised criteria, test steps, and testing tools against real products and to solicit vendor comment to fine tune the inspection process. The following companies qualified and participated:
- Cerner Corp.
- Emergisoft Corp.
- Epic Systems Corp.
- Greenway Medical Technologies
- NextGen Healthcare Information Systems Inc.
- Wellsoft Corp.

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) is an independent, nonprofit organization that has been recognized by the federal government as an official certification body for electronic health record products. Its mission is to accelerate the adoption of health information technology by creating a credible, sustainable product certification program. The certification requirements are based on widely accepted industry standards and involve the work of hundreds of expert volunteers and input from a variety of stakeholders throughout the health care industry.

For more information:

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