CCHIT goes over the top

May 11, 2007

Remember when the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology certified its first EHRs? That was last July, and 20 ambulatory products received the Commission's stamp of approval. At the time, observers and some EHR software makers wondered whether the certification process would result in big vendors gaining an advantage over small ones.

Remember when the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology certified its first EHRs? That was last July, and 20 ambulatory products received the Commission's stamp of approval. At the time, observers and some EHR software makers wondered whether the certification process would result in big vendors gaining an advantage over small ones.

They needn't have worried. As of April 30, 2007, CCHIT had certified a total of 81 ambulatory EHRs, or about 40 percent of the products on the market. Of the 98 products for which vendors applied, 83 percent received certification. And many of those are from smaller companies with relatively few customers.

One of the more interesting recent certifications went to WorldVistA, which is promoting VistA Office, the program that CMS developed from the VA system's Vista EHR. Also receiving certification was the Department of Defense Military Health System's EHR, which contains medical records of all U.S. military personnel. Those two systems, plus products from 28 other companies, were in the last batch of certifications using 2006 criteria. Companies that want to have their EHRs certified must now meet CCHIT's 2007 criteria.