February 29, 2008
CERTIFICATION COMMISSION FOR HEALTHCARE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
By: John Kasprak, Senior Attorney
You asked for information on the “Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology” (CCHIT).
CCHIT is a private, not-for-profit organization that serves as the recognized United States certification authority for electronic health records (EHR) and their networks. It was founded in 2004 with support from three leading associations in healthcare information management and technology-the American Health Information Management Association, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, and the National Alliance for Health Information Technology.
CCHIT's mission is “to accelerate the adoption of health information technology by creating an efficient, credible and sustainable product certification program.”
In September 2005, CCHIT was awarded a three-year contract by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop and evaluate the certification criteria and inspection process for EHRs and the networks through which they interoperate. HHS officially designated CCHIT as a recognized certification body in October 2006.
CCHIT's first efforts have focused on ambulatory EHR products for the office-based physician and provider, beginning commercial product certification in 2006. HHS has authorized and funded the commission to expand its certification scope of work for ambulatory EHR products to begin addressing medical specialties and specialized care settings. CCHIT has also begun the process of certification for inpatient EHR products.
The commission is composed of 21 members representing a variety of healthcare stakeholders, each serving two-year terms. It is chaired by Dr. Mark Leavitt. (A complete list of commissioners is attached.)
CCHIT's goals are to:
1. reduce the risk of health information technology investment by physicians and other providers,
2. ensure interoperability (compatibility) of HIT products,
3. assure payers and purchasers providing incentives for EHR adoption that the result will be improved quality, and
4. protect the privacy of patients' personal health information.