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10/6/2010
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First EHR Products Certified For Meaningful Use

Thirty six electronic health record products are first to be certified as capable of meeting Meaningful Use Stage 1 criteria.

A wave of three dozen e-health records products are the first to be certified capable of meeting Meaningful Use Stage 1 criteria. The certifications should help doctor practices and hospitals be more confident about the EHR products they’re using or planning to purchase.

Certification of EHR products is required for healthcare providers to qualify for the $20 billion-plus incentive funding that’s been allotted under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s HITECH Act programs for the “meaningful use” of health IT.

The largest group of products certified so far -- 33 -- were announced by the Certification Commission for Health IT; another three product certifications were granted by Drummond Group.

CCHIT and Drummond Group are two of three organizations that the federal government’s Office of National Coordinator for Health IT has authorized, at least so far, as a certification and testing bodies under the HITECH Act. The third certification body named by ONC as an "Authorized Testing and Certification Body" or ATCB, is InfoGard Laboratories.

In order to qualify for the HITECH incentive payments, clinicians and hospitals need to "meaningfully use" health IT products that have been certified by an ATCB.

Till recently, CCHIT -- which has been around for several years -- was also the first (and only) organization recognized in the health IT circle as a certification body for e-health record products.

However, under HITECH Act, ONC is designating several ATCBs to test and certify products are compliant to the government’s meaningful use requirements.

An InfoGard spokeswoman said the company expects to announce its first Meaningful Use Stage 1 certified products in coming weeks.

The products that received certification by Drummond include one "complete" EHR and two modules.

Unlike complete EHR packages, modules can focus on certain functionality, meeting one or more meaningful use criteria, but not all. Modules can allow healthcare providers additional flexibility in choosing applications that meet their organization’s particular needs beyond meaningful use.

The complete EHR package certified by Drummond is ChartLogic Inc.’s ChartLogic EMR version 7 for ambulatory care. The two modules that Drummond certified are:

QRS Inc.’s Paradigm version 8.3 for ambulatory care and ifa united i-tech Inc.’s ifa EMR version 6 for ambulatory care settings.

Meanwhile, the first wave of 33 products certified by CCHIT as being capable of meeting the 2011-2012 Meaningful Use stage 1 criteria include 19 complete EHR packages and 14 modules.

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