CCHIT announces first certified electronic health record products

Washington 18 July 2006United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Mike Leavitt has made public that the first ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) products have been certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT). Twenty EHR products achieved CCHIT Certified status after undergoing inspections that demonstrated their compliance with CCHIT's published criteria. Inspections are continuing, with additional results to be announced at the end of July and quarterly thereafter.

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"This seal of certification removes a significant barrier to wide-spread adoption of electronic health records. It gives health care providers peace of mind to know they are purchasing a product that is functional, interoperable and will bring higher quality, safer care to patients", Secretary Leavitt stated.

The CCHIT Certified mark - a "seal of approval" - provides the first consensus-based, consistent benchmark for ambulatory EHR products. By looking to products with the CCHIT Certified seal, physicians can reduce their risk when investing in this technology. The certification criteria have been designed to ensure that products provide a broad foundation of functionality, will evolve to be interoperable with other systems, and include security features that protect the privacy of personal health information. To be certified, a product must comply with 100 percent of the CCHIT criteria.

"CCHIT has simplified the selection process for physicians", stated John Tooker, M.D., MBA, Executive Vice President/CEO, American College of Physicians. "We believe our constituents, and the entire health care community, should look to certification to help ensure their EHR needs are met today and to lay the groundwork for future interoperability."

HHS awarded CCHIT a three-year contract in September 2005 to develop and evaluate criteria and an inspection process leading to certification of the first ambulatory - office- and clinic-based - EHRs, followed by inpatient - hospital - EHRs and networks over which they interoperate. The mission of CCHIT, a private-sector, voluntary certification body, is to accelerate adoption of health information technology to improve United States health care.

CCHIT has received the endorsements of a number of professional medical organisations, including the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Physicians (ACP), the Physicians' Foundation for Health Systems Excellence and Physicians' Foundation for Health Systems Innovation. In addition, the American Health Information Community, a federally-chartered commission led by Secretary Leavitt, unanimously adopted all CCHIT criteria for certification of ambulatory EHRs at its May 16, 2006, meeting.

"CCHIT has achieved this important milestone thanks to contributions by our volunteers and from constructive engagement by stakeholders throughout the industry", stated Mark Leavitt, M.D., Ph.D., chair, CCHIT (no relation to Secretary Leavitt). "We encourage physicians to look for the CCHIT seal when purchasing EHR products for their offices, and we will move forward to bring certification assurance to the inpatient and network domains in the years to come."

CCHIT will open for vendor applications quarterly, with the next application period in August. CCHIT certified products include:

  • HealthMatics EHR by Allscripts
  • TouchWorks by Allscripts
  • PowerChart by Cerner Corporation
  • Companion EMR by Companion Technologies
  • eClinicalWorks by eClinicalWorks LLC
  • Intergy by Emdeon Practice Services
  • e-MDs Solution Series by e-MDS
  • EpicCare Ambulatory EMR by Epic Systems Corporation
  • Centricity EMR by GE Healthcare
  • EncounterPRO by JMJ Technologies Inc.
  • Horizon Ambulatory Care by McKesson Corporation
  • mMD.Net EHR by MCS-Medical Communication Systems Inc.
  • MedcomSoft Record by MedcomSoft Inc.
  • WebChart by Medical Informatics Engineering Inc.
  • Misys EMR by Misys Healthcare Systems
  • NextGen EMR by NextGen Healthcare Information Systems Inc.
  • myNightingale Physician Workstation by Nightingale Informatix Corp.
  • Practice Partner Patient Records by Practice Partner

A group of products were pre-market conditionally certified awaiting customer verification of implementation. Those products are:

  • MEDENT by Community Computer Service Inc.
  • Medical Practice Management Client/Server by LSS Data Systems

CCHIT was founded in 2004 with support from three industry associations in health care information management and technology: the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and the National Alliance for Health Information Technology (Alliance). In September 2005, CCHIT was awarded a contract by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to develop, create prototypes for, and evaluate the certification criteria and inspection process for EHRs and the networks through which they interoperate. More information on CCHIT and a list of CCHIT Certified products is available at the CCHIT Web site.


Leslie Versweyveld

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