The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology has launched its program to certify electronic health records as supporting Stage 1 meaningful use requirements under the HITECH Act.

The Chicago-based commission is accepting applications and expects to announce the first group of certified products within weeks. CCHIT will offer certification of Complete EHRs that support all Stage 1 criteria and EHR Modules, or niche applications, which meet specific criteria.

CCHIT will continue to offer more comprehensive certification programs that go beyond meaningful use requirements. Vendors with products applying for comprehensive certification also can apply for Stage 1 meaningful use certification at no additional cost.

CCHIT is one of three organizations selected so far by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to certify EHRs for meaningful use compliance, joining Drummond Group Inc. and InfoGard Laboratories.

Drummond and CCHIT's selections were announced on Aug. 30 with Drummond almost immediately accepting applications. CCHIT took a more deliberate approach by setting Sept. 20 as its launch date. The National Institute of Standards and Technology previously developed a number of test steps for all certifiers to follow, and CCHIT contended more validation of the steps was warranted before being used in actual tests.

InfoGard was recently selected as a certifier and has not yet released its schedule.

--Joseph Goedert


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