Will HHS Do Any Better at EHR Certification Than CCHIT?

Posted on July 22, 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.

Now that the HIT Policy committee has marginalized CCHIT EHR certification and proposed that HHS define the EHR certification criteria, it only seems reasonable to ask whether HHS will do a much better job than CCHIT did at defining “certified EHR.”

What has me a little concerned is the process the work they’ve done in creating the meaningful use guidelines. They are too complicated and I believe will leave us with a lot of unhappy doctors. It makes me wonder if the same will happen with defining the EHR certification criteria. A few things do give me hope.

First, the HIT policy committee’s suggestion is for the EHR certification to remain focused on just those things which are applicable to the EHR stimulus money. This should provide HHS with an advantage over CCHIT since it should mean a much more simplified list of EHR certification requirements.

Second, I’m a big fan of Marc Probst who was one of the chairs of the committees that put together the EHR certification recommendations for the HIT Policy Committee. I’m not sure how much involvement he’ll have going forward, but hopefully he’ll have a good part in it.

I guess at the end of the day, I don’t think that HHS could do any worse and probably will be quite a bit better. I’m sure there will be some issues with what they create. The question is just whether they’ll be minor annoyances which can be dealt with or whether they’ll be major issues which will cause doctors to not adopt an EHR even with the $44k hanging over their head.