The following guest post is provided by Jim Tate, President of EMR Advocate and a contributing expert for HITECH Answers.
CCHIT has released their updated Certification Test Scripts and related documentation and will begin accepting applications for both their ‘Comprehensive’ and ARRA (Meaningful Use) Certification programs. The revised certification materials are available on the CCHIT website. The Certification process has been on hold since the ONC/CMS press release on December 30th that outlined the ARRA HIT incentive programs and modified the definition of Stage 1 ‘meaningful use’. CCHIT performed a gap analysis based on this new information and has been rewriting their Test Scripts to reflect the updated criteria. CCHIT had stated previously that vendors that have already tested for ‘2011 Comprehensive’ and ‘2011 Preliminary ARRA’ Certifications would be allowed to retest any identified gaps at the head of what is expected to be a long line of vendors.
The December 30th information from ONC/CMS contained some surprises. To be eligible for the first year of incentives, hospitals and providers only need to be meaningful users of certified technology for 90 consecutive days. Both ‘progress notes’ and ‘advanced directives’ were dropped from the list of MU criteria. Security requirements were toned down substantially. The level of documentation that must be provided for incentives for 2011 will be minimal, but will increase in complexity in 2012.
Now if someone can tell us where the army of implementation specialists will come from to ensure appropriate HIT training, we should be OK. Oh yes, I almost forgot – we still don’t know the process to review, select and approve entities that will be certifying every piece of technology that will be required.
About Jim Tate
Jim Tate, President of EMR Advocate, is an experienced project manager in the implementation of both EHR and Practice Management systems and has led numerous implementations in the United States, as well as China. He consults with EHR vendors regarding interface and functional specifications, marketing strategy, documentation and certification. He may be reached at email@example.com or followed on Twitter at “jimtate”.