The certification bar gets higher for EHRs

August 24, 2007

More than 80 EHR programs lay claim to a seal of approval that's supposed to make you more confident about buying the product. But wait—the requirements for earning this honor hail from 2006.

More than 80 EHR programs lay claim to a seal of approval that's supposed to make you more confident about buying the product. But wait—the requirements for earning this honor hail from 2006. In 2007, they've gotten more rigorous. Seven programs so far have passed the latest test.

The seal of approval comes from a private, not-for-profit organization called the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information, formed at the behest of the Bush administration to speed up the digitization of medicine. In its first certification year, extending from May 1, 2006, to April 30, 2007, CCHIT certified programs from 83 vendors, or about 40 percent of the estimated 200 companies in the ambulatory EHR market. This certification lasts for three years, but vendors can reapply for recertification annually.

In 2007, CCHIT enacted additional certification criteria that may whittle down the number of companies with bragging rights. Chief among the new requirements are the ability to send new prescriptions and refills electronically—not just by fax-to pharmacies, and receive lab results online.

EHR programs certified under the 2007 rules are listed below with the company that sells them shown first. Except for Purkinje, all the companies have products certified under the 2006 criteria.

• Community Computer Service (Medent 17)
• eClinicalWorks (eClinicalWorks 7.6.15)
• e-MDs (Solution Series 6.1.2 )
• Greenway Medical Technologies (PrimeSuite 2007 R2)
• McKesson Provider Technologies (Practice Partner 9.2.1)
• NextGen Healthcare Information Systems (EMR 5.4.29)
• Purkinje (CareSeries EHR 2.0)