Health IT certification expands

The organization the Health and Human Services Department has contracted with to develop standard criteria for health IT products has certified about 25 percent of companies that make office or ambulatory electronic health record systems.

The Certification Commission for Healthcare IT certified 18 more electronic health record products for office-based physicians, bringing the total to 55 applications over the past nine months.

CCHIT also will launch its inpatient, hospital-based electronic health record certification program sometime between July and September, said CCHIT chairman Mark Leavitt.

Companies have promoted certification as a mark of excellence, he said.

'The benefits of certification will increase as we continue to raise the standards for functionality, interoperability and security,' he said in a statement.

The proposed final ambulatory electronic health record criteria and test scripts for 2007 will be published for a last round of public comment and be available for two weeks, until Feb. 28. The final versions will be published March 16, pending approval.

CCHIT will publish a draft report of its survey and proposed road map for expanding certification to more professional specialties and care settings in February for public comment. The commission will finalize plans for this expanded scope of work in March.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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