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.
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:
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.