Get Involved: Your Chance to Comment On EHR Certification

It's a known political phenomenon that most people feel free to comment on how the government is running the country, whether or not these citizens employ their rights to the full extent.

Somehow a majority of the vocal population also manages to become miraculously glued to their easy chairs on election night, rather than getting out to rock the vote.

But healthcare administrators and practitioners are not that type of person - right?

I sure hope not...if so...get off the proverbial couch.

Here's your chance to get involved - at the policy generation level no less - on an issue of concern to all H/HC professionals - electronic health record (EHR) certification.

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) has posted its 2008 draft of certification criteria for EHRs.

A 30 day comment period is open until December 22nd.

You need to do some significant homework before commenting though; read the detailed, thorough proposals from 6 service-line specific workgroups (Ambulatory - 67 page PDF, Child Health - 5 page PDF, Cardiovascular - 13 page PDF, Emergency Dept - 30 page PDF, Inpatient - 66 pages, Network - 27 page PDF) and then register/login to leave your opinions.

Here's a bit about CCHIT, an independent nonprof (verbatim from cchit.org):

"The Certification Commission is a recognized certification body for electronic health records and their networks, and a private, nonprofit initiative.

Our mission is to accelerate the adoption of health information technology by creating an efficient, credible and sustainable certification program."

Founded in 2004 by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), The National Alliance for Health Information Technology (Alliance), and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the CCIHT was later funded (2005) by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American College of Physicians (ACP), HCA (the Hospital Corporation of America), McKesson, United Health Foundation, the California HealthCare Foundation, and WellPoint.

Two years ago, the US Dept. of Health and Human Services awarded CCHIT with a contract to quote "develop, create prototypes for, and evaluate the certification criteria and INSPECTION PROCESS for electronic health records (EHRs)."

Before DHHS funding dries up, CCHIT must move to create a sustainable model and continue its work based on a feasible business ops platform.

CCHIT must engage multiple stakeholders to accomplish its mission, including:
  • Clinicians and provider organizations who purchase health IT products;
  • Safety net providers who purchase or receive health IT products;
  • Vendors who develop, market, install and support health IT products;
  • Payers or purchasers who are prepared to offer incentives for health IT adoption;
  • Health care consumers;
  • Quality organizations;
  • Public health agencies;
  • Clinical and health-services researchers;
  • Standards development organizations;
  • Federal agencies and coordinating bodies representing various Federal agencies as identified by the National Coordinator.
In other words, they must engage all of us.

Here's the deal - as both a healthcare consumer and a healthcare administrator, I want to see EHRs in full swing by 2015. I want to use them, and I want to offer them to clients/patients.

Can this be done? Perhaps - but only with all of our input.

I'll be working on my response next weekend.

The point? Good organization, great goal, good pedigree = well worth your time to read and respond.

Click here to comment.

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