Sole Reliance on One EHR Certififying Body – CCHIT

Posted on May 29, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 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.

There’s a whole lot of discussion going on (rightfully so) right now about CCHIT EHR certification and of course the term “certified EHR.” I don’t know if anyone else has noticed or not, but there seems to be a bit of a growing movement towards not having ONE EHR certifying body (presumably CCHIT).

A post over on John Chilmark’s blog highlights a really interesting point about having only one EHR certifying body. The point is that there’s little accountability if CCHIT is the only body that’s certifying EHR vendors. What reason would CCHIT really have to improve its certification if it’s the de facto standard for certification? CCHIT admitted that their CCHIT EHR certification wasn’t up to the ambitious goals of HITECH/ARRA. That doesn’t mean they can’t change (although I have my reasonable doubts). However, if they are set up as the sole EHR vendor certification body, then what reason would they have to change?

OK. Yes, you could make an argument that they would want to change for the common good of man. Yes, that means we would see some change on their behalf towards that goal. However, to really change the game in EHR, we need something that requires people to innovate and a sole EHR certification of any kind will have a rough time doing that.

What scares me is that I think that CCHIT is aware of its weaknesses and realizes that it wouldn’t be able to iterate it’s EHR certification to meet the ever changing technology. It seems like the market is ripe for some really smart person to do something to better certify EHR. I wonder what type of game changing certification that will be.