Meaning (or lack therof) of the CCHIT Preliminary ARRA EHR Certification

I can’t help but repost something that HISTalk posted about one of the companies that’s now CCHIT preliminary ARRA certified and the meaning of said certification:

From Lester Bangs“Re: ARRA certification. Companies like this one (and they aren’t alone) get checked off on SOME of the ARRA criteria (which are changing) and get labeled as Pre-ARRA Certified by CCHIT. Amazing. And we wonder how folks are confused.” I found CCHIT’s disclaimer more interesting (click the above screen shot to enlarge) since it clarifies that the certification is preliminary, possibly irrelevant depending on the standards that are eventually approved, and possibly worthless since CCHIT may not even be a recognized certification body by them.

I’ve always loved HISTalk, but I’m even happier to see that him and I agree about CCHIT certification. I’m sure Mark Leavitt is really glad he’s cutting out of CCHIT when he did.

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, 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.

1 Comment

  • I fear I am starting to sound like a broken record.
    This article summarizes why I think it makes sense to utilize your current paper based system, but image the paper until a standard has been created and met.
    This area of technology is trying to push forward, but when you consider that our government is technologically challenged, it would seem the “tail is wagging the dog” in this case.
    Media Spiders has been working in this technology space since 2002.
    We actually developed the first online manifest archive system for Stericycle (a name I am sure you are familiar with).
    This changed the paradigm of manifesting in medical waste. We were the first company approved to deliver manifests electronically, eliminating the mail-back of the paper copies.
    That said, one of the largest notable detail, from our relationship with Stericycle, was that they understood that moving from paper to electronic manifesting was a process, not a flip of a switch.
    They reaped the monies saved in postage, but the larger savings came from the elimination of lost manifests and associated fines. In addition they were able to reduce the number of employees handling them, this in and of itself reduces the chances of lost documents through mis-filing, not returning them to the proper file etc…
    By outsourcing the operation to Media Spiders the process was handled more efficiently and a by employees trained in a repetitive process. This is the missing link to creating a system that doesn’t just meet the requirements, but is also cost effective.
    Media Spiders has processed millions of documents abiding by the rules of HIPAA and Sarbanes Oxley, and we did it while saving our clients money. You cannot abide by all the rules if you have an intern or receptionist scanning, and it would seem by all these articles, that the course for full electronic implementation is still very unclear.
    It would seem that the easiest road to compliance is to maintain your current operations with the addition of imaging by a professional imaging service supporting your efforts.

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