The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology today announced the first group of four electronic health records programs certified under its two programs—CCHIT Certified 2011 Comprehensive and Preliminary ARRA 2011.
Both programs inspect EHR technology for the first time against proposed federal standards to support providers in qualifying for 2011-2012 incentives under the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"These first four health IT companies, demonstrating their compliance with the proposed federal standards, are now able to offer certified products to providers who wish to purchase and implement EHR technology and achieve meaningful use in time for the 2011-2012 incentives," said commission Executive Director Alisa Ray. "We've had about 25 applications in our 2011 programs and inspections are continuing. Look for additional announcements from these early applicants in the upcoming days and weeks."
The CCHIT Certified 2011 Comprehensive program differs from the Preliminary ARRA certification program by providing a more rigorous inspection of integrated EHR functionality, interoperability, and security in addition to full compliance with federal standards.
As part of the comprehensive inspection process, key aspects of successful use are verified at live sites, and usability is rated. The CCHIT Certified Comprehensive program is intended to serve healthcare providers looking for "maximal assurance" that a product will meet their complex needs, as well as support their achievement of meaningful use to qualify for the ARRA financial incentives, according to CCHIT.
The product certified in the CCHIT's Certified 2011 Comprehensive program is ABELMed EHR-EMR/PM, Version 11, by ABEL Medical Software Inc.
The Preliminary ARRA 2011 program is a modular, limited certification and inspects technology only against the federal standards. It offers maximal flexibility for health IT companies, developers and providers in meeting ARRA 2011-2012 certification requirements. The products certified in the Preliminary ARRA 2011 program are:
The ARRA certification component of both programs is considered preliminary because the definitions of meaningful use, criteria, and standards have been proposed but not yet finalized by HHS.