Standards work proceeds apace

February 23, 2007

With some hospitals gearing up to provide EHRs to physicians (see "Hospitals are getting ready to give"), the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) on Feb. 12 rolled out a second draft of its criteria for inpatient EHR certification. It will test the criteria it adopts later this year. Meanwhile, CCHIT is finalizing new ambulatory EHR criteria that will take effect May 1. These will include new requirements for electronically sending prescriptions and receiving lab results.

With some hospitals gearing up to provide EHRs to physicians (see "Hospitals are getting ready to give"), the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) on Feb. 12 rolled out a second draft of its criteria for inpatient EHR certification. It will test the criteria it adopts later this year. Meanwhile, CCHIT is finalizing new ambulatory EHR criteria that will take effect May 1. These will include new requirements for electronically sending prescriptions and receiving lab results.

Two other standards bodies, Health Level Seven (HL7) and ASTM International, have agreed upon a Continuity of Care Document (CCD) that combines the HL7 messaging standard used in hospital and other applications with the Continuity of Care Record (CCR) developed by ASTM and several medical societies. Endorsed by a federal advisory panel, the CCD should make it easier for different EHRs to exchange key patient information.