Providers who are planning to evaluate and acquire Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems are encouraged to leverage the work of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT). CCHIT is a private, non-profit organization that was established to develop an efficient, credible, and sustainable mechanism for certifying health care information technology products.
In its initial phase, CCHIT developed and implemented a formal process to evaluate outpatient / ambulatory EHRs products to ensure that they meet base-line requirements for functionality, interoperability and security. To date, 33 commercial products have been certified. CCHIT plans to establish a similar process for inpatient EHR systems later this year.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota actively supports the work of CCHIT. In 2006, Blue Cross was awarded a position at the table as a Commissioner on CCHIT and is actively involved with its current planning and direction. EHR systems are a long term costly investment for providers. The efforts of CCHIT organization can greatly reduce the risks of provider organizations looking to make this type of strategic decision.
The Certification Committee for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) was founded in 2004 with support from three leading industry associations in healthcare information management and technology – The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and The National Alliance for Health Information Technology (Alliance). In September 2005, CCHIT was awarded a contract by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop, create prototypes for, and evaluate the certification criteria and inspection process for EHRs and the networks through which they interoperate.