Will HHS Do Any Better at EHR Certification Than CCHIT?

Now that the HIT Policy committee has marginalized CCHIT EHR certification and proposed that HHS define the EHR certification criteria, it only seems reasonable to ask whether HHS will do a much better job than CCHIT did at defining “certified EHR.”

What has me a little concerned is the process the work they’ve done in creating the meaningful use guidelines. They are too complicated and I believe will leave us with a lot of unhappy doctors. It makes me wonder if the same will happen with defining the EHR certification criteria. A few things do give me hope.

First, the HIT policy committee’s suggestion is for the EHR certification to remain focused on just those things which are applicable to the EHR stimulus money. This should provide HHS with an advantage over CCHIT since it should mean a much more simplified list of EHR certification requirements.

Second, I’m a big fan of Marc Probst who was one of the chairs of the committees that put together the EHR certification recommendations for the HIT Policy Committee. I’m not sure how much involvement he’ll have going forward, but hopefully he’ll have a good part in it.

I guess at the end of the day, I don’t think that HHS could do any worse and probably will be quite a bit better. I’m sure there will be some issues with what they create. The question is just whether they’ll be minor annoyances which can be dealt with or whether they’ll be major issues which will cause doctors to not adopt an EHR even with the $44k hanging over their head.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com, 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, EXPO.health, 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.


  • The HIT Policy Committee was quite clear in limiting its interest to certifying only an EMR’s ability to capture and report on the targeted measures of ‘meaningful use’ that will be adopted by the ONC. That is pretty cut and dried, I would have thought. The ONC can well be expected to concern itself only with setting the direction of healthcare IT by focusing on ‘differences that make a difference’. Perhaps what is needed are follow-on certifications that cover requirements for specialties especially where the mechanics of clinical decision support are concerned. The idea of inclusive EMR certification may be one which appeared on the scene and then left it without ever having been attained.

  • Anthony,
    Do you have more details about a “common criteria style?” HHS has chosen to do basically it’s own criteria and not CCHIT’s, which is a good step for them I think.

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