Mark Leavitt, chairman of the federally supported Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology, said he's happy with a couple of the outcomes in the latest round of testing of healthcare IT systems marketed to inpatient facilities.
All six of the vendors that submitted products passed, although two of the systems, ChartAccess 1.0 from Prognosis Health Information Systems; and Soarian Clinicals 2.0C5 with Siemens Pharmacy and Medication Administration Check 24.0 from Siemens Medical Solutions received what is called a pre-market conditional rating.
Under CCHIT rules, Leavitt explained, systems not only have to pass the tests, but also have to have been installed and running in at least one customer's facility for 45 days. The pre-market rating was introduced as a response to vendor requests, Leavitt said, to solve an anticipated chicken-vs.-egg problem of no customer wanting to buy a system that wasnt CCHIT-certified and no system being certified unless it has a customer.
Leavitt said the vendors can satisfy the 45-day criteria at any time and then market their system as being fully CCHIT-accredited.
By Leavitts way of thinking, six wasn't a bad turnout for this first round of testing of two components of inpatient systemscomputerized physician order entry, or CPOE, and electronic medication administration record, or eMAR. There are about 25 vendors of CPOE systems, he said, so getting a quarter of them to test and become certified is better than the 12% of the 200 or so systems in the ambulatory electronic health-record market that were tested and certified in the first round of testing by CCHIT last year.
And while CPOE is typically one of the last components of an inpatient clinical IT system to be installed, the decision was made to test it first to help drive market adoption. According to this year's Modern Healthcare Survey of Executive Opinions on Key Information Technology Issues , not quite half of all respondents indicated they either were installing a CPOE system or had one running, but, according to the Leapfrog Group, which measures system functionality, less than 10% of hospitals participating in their survey have fully functional CPOE systems.
For the time being, CCHIT will continue to test inpatient systems quarterly, as it did for the first rounds of inpatient EHR testing, and then assess whether it is prudent to move to a continuous process as is now in place with ambulatory systems.
Child health, cardiovascular medicine and emergency department IT systems are next on the list for CCHIT testing and certification, which should begin next summer, Leavitt said. IT systems for long-term care could be tested in another two years or so.
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