The federally funded Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology today published certification criteria for the first round of testing of components of an electronic health-record system for use in hospitals.
Due to the breadth of hospital functions and the array of niche software products developed to perform specific tasks within the hospital setting, CCHIT has chosen to certify pieces of a hospital EHR, in contrast to its first foray into certification begun last year in which entire EHR systems for ambulatory care were tested.
Vendor applications for testing and certification of inpatient computerized physician order-entry and electronic medication administration-record systems will be accepted beginning Aug. 1 and will close Aug. 14, according to a CCHIT news release. Test results are expected to be announced in late October. The final test criteria and other information is available at the CCHIT Web site. Certification lasts three years. The combined cost of the certification testing and a first-year maintenance fee is $34,000. The annual maintenance fee of $5,800 will be assessed for years two and three.
The Chicago-based CCHIT was formed in 2004 by various industry concerns and won a $7.5 million HHS contract in 2005 to test EHR systems under the theory that adoption of healthcare IT systems would be promoted if buyers could be assured of their basic functionality. After the latest round of testing of ambulatory-care systems, CCHIT announced in early May that 89 companies and 81 products had been tested and certified. CCHIT will host a teleconference for vendors of inpatient EHRs July 12 at 11 a.m. EDT about the certification program and application process.
In other CCHIT news, the commission is taking applications for candidates to fill six openings expected in October on its 21-member board of commissioners. The application period will run from July 1 through July 31. The term length is two years. One commissioner will be chosen from each of six categories: healthcare consumer organizations, health information exchanges, informatics experts, public health agencies, safety net providers and ambulatory-care providers. Candidates can e-mail resumes to [email protected]. The seven-member CCHIT board of trustees will review all applications and announce appointments in September.