Comment period announced for inpatient EHR criteria

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The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) announced that second draft certification criteria for inpatient (hospital) electronic health records (EHRs) will be open to public review and comment Feb. 16 through March 16. The commission is also seekings comments on its proposed 2007 test strategy for these products. Materials will be posted on and comments can be submitted through the Web site.

The commission has also published the proposed final criteria and test scripts for ambulatory (office-based) EHR certification, opening a final 14-day public comment period on changes made since the previous publication. The plan is for the new criteria to take effect May 1, and will include new requirements for electronically sending prescriptions as well as receiving laboratory test results, CCHIT said.

These are the first CCHIT interoperability criteria that require common standards for sending and receiving patient care information, CCHIT said, and will allow EHRs to exchange data and make them compatible with emerging health information networks.

Recently a pilot test to validate the 2007 ambulatory EHR test scripts was completed successfully and on time, said Alisa Ray, CCHIT executive director. The pilot test participants included a range of companies of different sizes, such as Community Computer Service; Greenway Medical Technologies; NextGen Healthcare Information Systems; and Nightingale Informatix Corporation.