Results from Our September 3 Town Call on New 2011 Certification Programs

by Mark Leavitt, MD, PhD on September 8, 2009

On September 3, we held a Town Call to gather feedback from vendors and developers about our launch plans for new 2011 certification programs. What we heard was very encouraging and we’d like to share those results. To put the results in context if you didn’t attend the Town Call, you may want to review the presentation slides or even a full recording of the meeting.

About 700 attended the call. We focused the Town Call on vendors and developers, and as expected they were the predominant group. Of note, two thirds of the vendors/developers are ‘new’ to CCHIT and do not have a currently certified product. Our new programs are clearly gaining interest beyond the current base of EHR vendors.

Poll: Which best describes your role?

As we described during the call, we will be launching two programs October 7: a CCHIT Certified® 2011 program that is an updated version of our previous offerings; and a new, modular certification program called Preliminary ARRA 2011, focusing only on the Meaningful Use objectives and accompanying standards. We asked the vendors and developers about their interest in applying for these programs and received the following responses:

Poll: Tell us your plans regarding certification

We recognize that these figures are only approximations – for example, there could be more than one attendee on the call from any given vendor – but the results appear to show a high level of interest in both programs. We emitted a collective ‘gulp’ when we saw how many vendors/developers intended to apply in October as soon as the programs are launched, but we’ve handled large volumes before so we know how to handle that drill. A couple of hundred more may come along in the months that follow. Only a small fraction intend to wait until final ARRA certification is available. This appears to support our contention that we can’t afford to wait – products must be available, and providers must get started right away in order to have a chance of achieving meaningful use in 2011-2012.

We received over 100 questions before, during, and after the call. We were able to answer some during the session, but we’ll answer the rest and publish that document soon.

What’s the bottom line? Well, it looks like these new programs have a good chance of delivering what is needed from certification to support an accelerated adoption of health IT in the ARRA environment. We’re expecting lots of activity in both of our certification programs starting in October. Finally, we’re gratified to see that the tremendous work our hundreds of volunteers and our dedicated staff have invested in creating and refining CCHIT’s health IT certification knowhow these past four years will serve as a strong foundation as we build for the future.

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CCHIT Town Hall Meeting on Preliminary ARRA Certified EHR | EMR and HIPAA
09.11.09 at 9:32 am

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sam Winebaum 09.09.09 at 1:03 pm

A very well done and useful session. 700 attendees really underlines the strength of interest and the need. A question regarding Slide 16 of the presentation. What is Desktop Review?

2 Sangeeta Jadav 09.09.09 at 8:09 pm

Speaking of interoperability; I would like to know how EHR/EMR exchange can take place between health plans and Physician practices. i.e. claims submission is done via EDI is this supported by EHR systems? can physicians share/transmit EHR to health plans what do health plans need to support EHR?

Thank you for your response.

3 Mark Leavitt 09.10.09 at 8:43 am

Sam, Desktop Review is the certification program staff’s check that a company’s application for certification is “complete” — application itself, supporting documentation, fee paid. At that point the applicant is allowed to choose from available inspection time slots.

4 Jessica 09.15.09 at 10:52 am

Just starting this EMR, wondering which is a better cert? CCHIT or the ARRA? Heard half from one end and the same with the other, are both needed. I am attending the October program in Chicago, trying to get my Q’a &A’a before.

Please reply to the above confused.
Thank you..

5 Jack 11.02.09 at 8:37 am

@ Jessica – I guess CCHIT certification is much better.

All future CCHIT certifications will meet or exceed the requirements of ARRA. It appears likely that there will be some requirements for ARRA that were not present in previous certifications, so all products will need certification under one of the new programs to qualify.

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