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First Health IT Products Earn New Certification From Commission

E-health record products from 17 vendors are among the first to earn seal of approval from the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said today that 18 electronic health record products are among the first to earn a new seal of approval from the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.

The CCHIT, created two years ago with support from three major health-care industry consortiums, received a $2.7 million, three-year contract from HHS last September to develop and evaluate the certification criteria and inspection process for the interoperability, functionality, and security of three major types of health information technology: ambulatory electronic health records used at doctors' practices and other out-patient settings; inpatient or hospital e-health records systems; and the network components in which they interoperate and share information.

The 18 products earning certification in the CCHIT's first round of testing were ambulatory care products from 17 vendors. About two dozen vendors had applied for certification in the first round, and some are still undergoing testing, said U.S. health secretary Michael Leavitt at a press conference at George Washington University Medical Center. Additional product certifications will be announced in coming weeks, likely by July 31. Products undergo evaluation for more than 250 functionality criteria.

"This is a big day," said Leavitt. Interoperable health IT products that let health-care providers securely access and share patients' medical information can signficanlty improve quality of care, safety, efficiency, and costs savings, he said. President Bush two years ago set out the goal for most Americans to have electronic health records by 2014.

The 18 products from 17 vendors earning CCHIT certification include Allscripts' HealthMarics Electronic Health Record 2006 and Touchworks Electronic Health Record 10.11; Cerner's PowerChart 2005.02; Companion Technologies' Companion EMR v.8.5; eClinicalWorks' eClincalWorks V. 7.0 Release 2; e-MDs' eMDs Solution Series 6.1; Epic Systems' EpicCare Ambulatory EMR Spring 2006; and GE Healthcare's Centricity EMR 2005 Version 6.0.

Also receiving certification are JMJ Technologies' EncounterPro EHR 5.0; McKesson's Horizon Ambulatory Care Version 9.4; MCS-Medical Communication Systems' EHR 9.0.9; MedcomSoft's Record 2006 Version 3.0; Medical Informatics Engineering's WebChart 4.23; Misys Healthcare Systems' Misys EMR 8.0; NextGen Healthcare Information Systems' NextGen EMR 5.3; Nightingale Informatix's myNightingale Physician Workstation 5.1; and Practice Partner's Patient Records 9.

Also, two vendors received premarket certification for products not yet in use at customer sites. They are Community Computer Services' Medent 16 and LSS Data Systems' Medical Practice Management Client/Server 5.5 Service Release 2.1.