CCHIT announces changed work group structure, new staff

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) has restructured its volunteer work groups as well as plans to recruit additional staff to support development of its certification structure next year.

Universal EHR requirements applicable to all settings will be addressed by a new EHR Foundation work group. The current work groups addressing office-based (ambulatory) and hospital-based (inpatient) criteria will continue to focus on the requirements specific to those two settings, supplemented by a third work group developing criteria for emergency department systems. Another new group will be formed to begin developing certification criteria for health information networks.

In addition to the five work groups, CCHIT announced five new expert panels that will concentrate on security, privacy, interoperability, and the new expansion areas of children’s healthcare and cardiovascular medicine.

"Volunteers, who are responsible for CCHIT’s successes, are finding their time spread thinner than ever. I believe we must use those resources even more efficiently this year, making fewer demands on their time while gaining the maximum benefit from their expertise," said Mark Leavitt, MD, PhD, commission chairman.

The Certification Commission will offer two types of volunteer roles, including membership in sustaining work groups, which are similar to the current volunteer model, or serving on the new expert panels to address specialized issues in depth.

"The sustaining groups and expert panels will have different work styles and time commitments. Just as we’re making certification more flexible to meet specialized needs, we’re custom-tailoring our volunteer models so people can find the best fit," said Leavitt.

The commission has scheduled teleconference is scheduled for 11 a.m. Eastern on Monday, April 23, to discuss details about the new work group structure. For details visit:

Later this month the commission also said it will begin recruiting additional staff to support these initiatives.