First electronic record products certified for use in USA
25 July 2006
Washington, USA. The first round of ambulatory electronic healthcare
record products (EHRs) have been certified by the US Certification
Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT).
"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, and
interoperable and will bring higher quality, safer care to patients," HHS
Secretary Mark Leavitt said.
CCHIT certification indicates that EHR products meet base-line levels of
functionality, interoperability and security in compliance with CCHIT's
published criteria. This impartial seal of approval paves the way for
adoption of healthcare IT products by limiting the risk associated with
investing in health IT. CCHIT is continuing to evaluate products, and
additional results will be announced at the end of the Jully and quarterly
"Volunteers from across the healthcare spectrum developed CCHIT's
criteria and inspection process, ensuring fairness and balance between the
interests of diverse stakeholders," said Dr. Mark Leavitt, CCHIT Chair.
In September 2005, HHS awarded a $2.7 million contract to CCHIT, a
private, non-profit organization, to develop an efficient, credible, and
sustainable mechanism for certifying healthcare information technology
products. The CCHIT will certify health IT products in three initial phases:
- First, outpatient or ambulatory EHRs;
- Second, inpatient, or hospital EHRs; and
- Third, architectures, or systems that enable the exchange of
information between and among health care providers and institutions.
The announcement of the first round of vendors to earn certification came
at the George Washington University's Medical Faculty Associates, who
adopted an EHR system last year. That system achieved certified status on 18
"George Washington Medical Faculty Associates was an early adopter of the
electronic health record system which has transformed our practice, enabling
us to be proactive instead of reactive," said George Washington University
CEO Stephen Badger. "It has enhanced the overall patient care, significantly
reduced our administrative costs and led to happier physicians and patients,
because of this transformation."
HHS will soon publish rules creating Anti-Kickback statute safe harbours
and Physician Self-Referral law exceptions. These changes will allow certain
donations of health information technology that may not have been permitted
before, allowing hospitals and other healthcare providers and suppliers to
take a more active role in contributing to healthcare IT adoption. The
regulations will finalize proposals made by the Office of Inspector General
and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Oct. 11, 2005.
For information about the CCHIT and for a list of certified products,