CCHIT Admits to Being a Marketing Tool and Not Up for Task of ARRA

Posted on May 7, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 6000 articles with John having written over 3000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 13 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

In a recent post on the CCHIT website, they have the written testimony on electronic health records and “meaningful use” that CCHIT submitted to the NCVHS. Here’s a quote from that written testimony:

During our initial years, certification served as a confidence-booster for providers concerned about buying EHRs that lacked the needed functionality, security, and interoperability. Financial incentives for EHRs then began to emerge, but they pale in comparison to the bold goals and nationwide scale of the Recovery Act.

I love that CCHIT’s noble goals in the beginning were to be a “confidence-booster” for those purchasing an EHR. Sounds like a nice big marketing tool to me. I’m just really happy that they’re finally open to admit that was the goal of the certification. There’s no doubt that CCHIT has done a great job selling itself as a way for doctors to trust their EHR vendor more than they would have otherwise.

It’s just unfortunate, that CCHIT hasn’t done any reporting on how effective their certification has done for those EHR that have certified. You’d hope that having this certification would mean that certified EHR users would have more “functionality, security, and interoperability.” At least for now, I have yet to see any data that confirms this notion. In fact, I hear some noise that it could be the opposite. Possibly why we haven’t seen any of this data?

Now, for the real kicker. Here’s a second part of the statement by CCHIT for the NCVHS:

Certification must step up to fulfill a more strategic role, serving not only to reduce risks, but as a dynamic coupling mechanism between advancing policies and the real-world development, marketing, adoption, and use of health IT.

A noble and important goal. I just personally don’t see any EHR certification being able to achieve that goal.