Public Self Certification of an EHR Software

Why doesn’t a non certified EHR take the CCHIT criteria and do their own honest certification of their product? I’m not talking about going through and making sure that they meet the CCHIT criteria. Certainly, that’s basically what would be required for an EHR vendor to become certified. Instead I’m suggesting an EHR vendor be transparent about its strengths and weaknesses.

An EHR vendor could take each of the CCHIT criteria and evaluate how their EHR vendor measures up to the criteria. Then, they could publish to the public information on how they satisfy each criteria. This public information could include details about how they met the criteria and information about how they’ve striven to exceed the criteria.

Those criteria which the EHR vendor does not meet could be paired with an explanation of why the EHR vendor believes that the specific criteria doesn’t provide value to a doctor and therefore isn’t a priority for that EHR vendor. In fact, they might want to consider coupling this list with a list of features that aren’t part of the criteria that they’re currently working to develop.

If the EHR vendor wanted to take it one step further, they could have an outside person do the evaluation and provide a rating and feedback for each criteria. Then, the company could write commentary on why they disagree with the findings or why the company chose not to implement that requirement. This type of information would provide real value to someone selecting an EHR.

Of course, if your EHR software is not up to snuff, this will expose you. However, if your software is great, then you should have nothing to worry about no?

I will admit that this would be a major PR move similar to the CCHIT Certified EHR Replaced with Non-CCHIT EHR that I wrote about previously. However, imagine the story you can tell to those doctors who want a certified EHR. You can tell them why 100 (or whatever number) of the CCHIT criteria aren’t worth your effort and welcome people to go read why it’s not worthwhile. You just better make darn sure you can walk the walk. Might not work for everyone, but those who really care about having a usable EMR system will understand and those are the types of customers you want to have anyway.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • I know you are not going to agree with me but I bet those CCHIT requirements that may get left out would be centered around interoperability. Interoperability is going to be key eventually.

  • Actually Hugh, I’m not sure that many of the interoperability requirements would be left out. First, I don’t think CCHIT has built in that many interoperability components yet. Although, I’m told they’re working hard on that now. Second, no EHR vendor will want to admit that they aren’t interoperable.

    I actually had a number of the supposed “security” requirements and general features not needed by a specialty at the top of my list.

  • Good point. Perhaps I am being cynical in the belief that a specific EHR vendor would want to “corner” the market. I am learning a lot here. Thanks for the comments.

  • Hugh,
    I don’t think you’re being cynical. The reality is that most EHR companies are trying to “corner” the market. They want to get as much market share as possible. That’s called business. Apply that to a public EHR company that is beholden to it’s share holders and it because really cut throat.

  • Really good point. The competition is surely stiff and after all what is boils down to is the kind of business model an EHR company adopts to. But I also think that it should not affect the quality of patient service.

    Today medical practitioners are looking to avail of this federal incentive by trying to comply with the definition of meaningful use but at the same time EHR providers are looking at their own set of profits.
    This misunderstanding is mostly I believe as a result of wrong interpretation of the federal guidelines. The EHR providers need to look at these guidelines from the prospective of the practitioners who deal with different specialties.
    Each specialty EHR has its own set of challenges or requirements which I believe is overlooked by in most EHR vendors in a effort to merely follows federal guidelines. This is resulting in low usability to the practitioners, thus less ROI, finally redundancy of the EHR solution in place.

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