Hospital CIO’s Take on CCHIT

Posted on April 10, 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.

I’ve wanted to post about this for a few days and just haven’t had time. One of my favorite HIT bloggers, Will Weider, wrote a really interesting post about CCHIT. Yes, I kept reading even after he said, “I love CCHIT.”

Will’s main point is that just because one vendor doesn’t meet the CCHIT certification, doesn’t mean a combination of vendors couldn’t create a system that was equal or better than a CCHIT Certified EHR. A fine point that I’m sure CCHIT will never find a solution for.

However, this paragraph from Will really described my feelings well:

The problem is that vendor functionality does not determine how well an EHR is implemented. I could have a vendor that provided my organization the richest functionality one could imagine, and still implement it in a way that totally sucks.

I think will could have replaced “vendor functionality” with “CCHIT Certification” and had a quote like this:

The problem is that [CCHIT Certification] does not determine how well an EHR is implemented. I could have a [CCHIT Certified EHR] that provided my organization the richest functionality one could imagine, and still implement it in a way that totally sucks.

So, what’s the purpose of using CCHIT Certification?

I can easily think of a long laundry list of problems that CCHIT Certification causes. What I can’t understand is how CCHIT Certification does any good at encouraging implementation of good EHR programs. Maybe someone can help me out in the comments.