CCHIT broadens its scope

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The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT), having just last year started certifying ambulatory EHRs, is quickly broadening its scope to more systems and is also eyeing network certification, said Alisa Ray, executive director of the commission, at last week’s IHE 2007 Connectathon in Chicago.

The next move for CCHIT will be to tackle inpatient EHR systems which, a more painstaking process due to the number of systems involved, Ray said. The core system requirements will likely be the capability to integrate with pharmacy data, as well as offer basic HIS/CIS functionality. This certification will likely be launched by July or August of this year.

Another EHR area the commission will soon tackle is specialty systems which could aid certain specific populations and areas of medicine, she said.

Thinking on a broader scale, CCHIT also is looking “to find a meaningful way to certify networks,” Ray said. The work towards a network certification process will begin Q1 2007 with a hoped for launch this year.

The commission is pleased with the progress that has been made over just a short period of time. Thirty-three vendors have thus far been certified, and by March it is expected that this number to jump to 50, she said.