CCHIT Suspends Stage 1 Testing and Drummond Throws Hat in the Ring

The following guest post is provided by Jim Tate, President of EMR Advocate and contributing expert to HITECH Answers.

CCHIT has announced a pause in some of their certification testing: “Update Note: We have reviewed the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding certifying bodies, and we feel confident about our prospects of becoming accredited.  We plan to file an application with the Office of the National Coordinator as soon as it is ready to accept them. Until CCHIT becomes accredited, we are suspending any initial or incremental Modular testing until we can test against an accredited Stage 1 ARRA test script.”  CCHIT will hold a webinar (CCHIT Town Call: Certification Update) on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 4 PM Eastern.

CCHIT is holding back on “Meaningful Use” testing until they receive the official stamp of approval to become a certifying entity. The other issue is the uncertainty surrounding what will be required to actually demonstrate the functional and security steps to whoever is a certifier (CCHIT and/or Drummond and/or Others?). The action here has shifted to the National Institute of Standard and Testing (NIST) which is in the process of “developing the conformance test methods (test procedures, test data, and test tools) to ensure compliance with the meaningful use technical requirements and standards.” For EHR vendors this is the place to watch as the draft and then final test procedures are rolled out.

The public comment period for the Interim Final Rule on Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for EHRs ends today, the Ides of March. For some interesting reading, check out the comments submitted by CCHIT.

The Drummond Group, the only organization besides CCHIT that has publicly announced their intention to apply to become a certifying body, has an EHR blog on their website. Looks like they will also be applying as soon as possible. No word yet if they intend to extend their testing/certifying beyond the Stage 1 Government criteria.

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.