Preliminary ARRA Certified and CCHIT Certified

Posted on September 12, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the 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 and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

As promised, here’s my look into the two certifications that CCHIT is currently pursuing. I got most of the details of what they’re talking about from this CCHIT presentation. Basically, CCHIT plans to offer two forms of EHR certification starting October 7, 2009: CCHIT Certified 2011 and Preliminary ARRA 2011.

CCHIT Certified 2011 is basically just a continuation of the certification that they’ve been doing for a number of years now. I won’t go into all the details about why this is a waste of money, development time and provides no improvement an EMR implementation success rates, but a quick search through my posts on CCHIT will be good place to start if you’re interested. Of course, the one difference between the 2011 CCHIT EHR certification is that they’ve tried to add all the other necessary requirements to meet ARRA’s certified EHR requirements.

Preliminary ARRA 2011 – Basically, this is CCHIT’s attempt to certify just the meaningful use requirements. They’ve broken it down into 21 meaningful use components with about 100 requirements (as best I can tell). CCHIT’s plan is for this certification will become the ARRA EHR certification program that will be eventually recognized by HHS.

Now let’s take a look at the timeline for each of these EHR certifications:

September 24, 2009 – CCHIT publishes certification criteria and test scripts for both CCHIT Certified 2011 and Preliminary ARRA 2011

October 7, 2009 – CCHIT starts accepting applications for both certifications

Spring 2010 – CMS publishes final rule

Spring 2010 (after CMS rule published) – CCHIT offers incremental testing for both EHR certifications to cover any gaps between the certification criteria published on September 24, 2009 and the final rule published by CMS. At this time CCHIT will also introduce the site certification option (this could be really interesting).

Now the question is which of the two EHR certifications you should consider or should you not worry about any of the above certifications? Unfortunately, I can’t really answer that question properly until we talk about the money involved in getting the above EHR certifications. I’ll cover that in a post on Monday.