17 more companies seek certification for EHR products

Seventeen companies that sell e-health records software to doctors and clinics applied for certification from the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology in August.

If the products meet the CCHIT certification criteria, they will join the 22 already certified in the commission's first round, which ended in July. Commission officials said the results of the second round for what it calls 'ambulatory' products will be announced in late October.

CCHIT establishes criteria for functionality, interoperability and security of clinical software products, then reviews products to determine whether they meet the criteria. Products that do so can be labeled 'CCHIT Certified.'

The Chicago-based organization, formed by major health IT associations, also announced it will post on its Web site two new documents relating to its work:
'Proposed new and updated criteria for ambulatory products for 2007 certifications
'The initial proposed criteria for the first round of inpatient products ' systems for hospitals and similar institutions.
Those documents will be posted Sept. 25, and the commission has scheduled a teleconference to discuss them two days later.

The commission, which is supported by a $7.5 million contract with the federal Department of Health and Human Services, aims to reduce the fear, uncertainty and doubt associated with buying clinical information systems by identifying those products that meet certain minimum requirements.

When the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT announced the award of the contract to CCHIT last October, it said the contract was worth $2.7 million. However, ONCHIT officials have since said that was the value of the first year of a three-year contract.

About the Author

Nancy Ferris is senior editor of Government Health IT.

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