NIST, IHE work with CCHIT to evaluate EHRs

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The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) with its software design partner, Mitre, have collaborated with Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on LAIKA, a software project that will evaluate compliance of EHRs with criteria for interoperability.

IHE and NIST have worked with CCHIT to produce a “framework” document that clarifies each organization’s specific role in developing testing tools for product connectivity and describes how they complement each other.

CCHIT, IHE, and NIST, along with their partners, will collaborate when necessary to build healthcare IT testing tools, in order to minimize duplication of effort and provide consistency in testing and standards compliance.

“While the goal of fostering standards-based interoperability of healthcare IT systems is a shared one, the roles and requirements of the organizations are different,” said Mark Leavitt, MD, CCHIT chair.  “For some, this has produced confusion or a perception of duplicated efforts. Our new framework for collaboration will remedy that."

Leavitt said the newly formed collaboration will make it easier for health information technology companies to add standards-based information exchange capabilities to their products and prepare those products for certification and distribution.

LAIKA is being developed under an open-source license so that it is free and publicly available, and CCHIT said it will use the software running on a secure platform during its inspection of a product’s compliance. An initial focus of the collaboration is a tool to verify standards compliance of a Continuity of Care Document sent or received by EHRs with delivery in time for the commission’s 2008 pilot testing and certification launch.