Another electronic health records (EHR) implementation milestone was reached today. The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) made its first announcement of twenty ambulatory electronic health record (EHR) products that have attained CCHIT Certified status.
CCHIT certifies EHR products under a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) contract for functionality (setting features and functions to meet a basic set of requirements), interoperability (enabling standards-based data exchange with other sources of healthcare information), and security (ensuring data privacy and robustness to prevent data loss). According to HHS, "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."
HHS Secretary Leavitt said that “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.”