The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) has decided to stop offering testing and certification of electronic health records for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to concentrate on industry interoperability issues. However, it will continue to offer its subscription-based ONC testing and certification preparation service called "The Source."
In a press release released today, Alisa Ray, CCHIT executive director, said, "It's apparent to both providers and vendors that the pace of ONC 2014 Edition certification has been slowed by the challenges of more rigorous criteria and testing, and the timing and nature of future federal health IT program requirements remain uncertain. With these changes, we can provide a greater level of support and counsel to providers and vendors, something we could not undertake as a government authorized certification body. CCHIT's independent development process for its programs is consensus-based. At the same time, returning to our independent work, we can convene thought leaders and advisory groups to provide policy and governance recommendations, and guidance to the healthcare community here and internationally."
Ray also noted that CCHIT will take on a more global focus and, through an alliance with the prominent Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), will "develop new programs and policy guidance aimed at achieving interoperability and supporting change in the way providers and patients around the world use IT to positively transform health and healthcare."
Carla Smith, executive vice president of HIMSS, added, "Both HIMSS and CCHIT share the common and long-term goal of improving health with information technology. This alliance allows our organizations to combine our considerable knowledge and experience to better serve our stakeholders as we work together to further positive patient outcomes."