The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology has published a framework, or guidance, for the HIT capability necessary to support an accountable care organization.

CCHIT commissioners and an expert advisory panel put together the framework to assist in identifying and prioritizing I.T. needs. “It is designed as a starting point for provider groups developing HIT roadmaps, for payers looking to assess or complement the HIT capabilities of their provider partners, or for HIT developers designing products to fill gaps in currently available technology,” according to the guidance.

I.T. requirements include information exchange, data collection and integration from multiple sources, patient safety, and privacy and security. Necessary I.T. capabilities are listed for specific key processes--such as patient relationship management, clinician engagement and financial management--with each I.T. function further defined and specified. The I.T. capabilities and functions, such as administrative simplification requirements, often are duplicated in multiple processes. The HIT Framework for Accountable Care is available here.

CCHIT has no present plans to create an ACO accreditation program, “but we will certainly listen to demands for certification if they arise,” a spokeperson says.

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