CCHIT Launches Alternative EHR Certification

The program helps hospitals with homebrew or legacy electronic health records software meet meaningful use requirements.
17 Leading EHR Vendors
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At Huntington Memorial Hospital, where the adoption of IT over the years has resulted in implementing a variety of technologies from different vendors, hospital executives said some applications are certified while other are not. Rebecca Armato, Huntington executive director of physician and interoperability services, said the EACH program is helping the hospital determine if they have the right mix of applications to not only qualify for ARRA funds, but also to go beyond meaningful use to deliver meaningful value to their patients and physicians.

"CCHIT's EACH certification program offers us an alternative that allows us to leverage our existing technology investments, avoid unnecessary purchases, and reduce dependency on our vendors' resources and timelines," Armato said in a statement. "We want to get this right the first time, and now, in one place, we have access to knowledgeable staff, vendor-neutral expertise, and online resources that can help us review and analyze any technology gaps we may have in meeting ONC's criteria."

Paul Conocenti, senior VP, vice dean, and CIO at NYU Langone Medical Center, said in a statement that EACH has helped his organization improve its health IT systems.

"In many ways our EHR systems reflect our operation use. The tools, process, and people of this program highlight critical areas where software may fall short, and where our operational workflow will be impacted," Conocenti said. "For example, adding a few fields to capture data for quality reporting is much easier to add to software than it is to meaningfully add to the complex workflows used at an academic medical center."

Alternative certification is not needed if a hospital has adopted an EHR with complete certification, or a combination of certified EHR modules that meet all of the 2011/2012 certification criteria adopted by DHHS to support the meaningful use objectives established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).