Electronic health records systems certified under the temporary certification program that the federal government will develop this year should have those certifications carry forward into the permanent certification program being established by 2012, according to the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives.

The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based association of CIOs and other I.T. leaders, in a comment letter on the interim final rule to establish certification programs, believes carrying forward the certifications provides "important protections to those vendors and providers that have installed applications under the temporary process."

Other recommendations in CHIME's comment letter include:

* Accurately access how much capacity is needed to ensure the permanent certification program approves applications in a timely manner;

* Provide detailed information on how the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the National Institute of Standards and Technology will coordinate the testing and certification processes;

* Specify what constitutes a self-developed EHR;

* Require vendors to fully disclose functions for which their products are certified and fully disclose known compatibility issues; and

* Provide sufficient time for vendors to seek recertification of products if a certifying body loses its authority to certify products.

To access the comment letter, click here.

--Joseph Goedert


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