ONC Standards Make CCHIT Process Irrelevant

FierceEMR has really hit the healthcare IT arena in force over the past 6 months. They even have a big party planned for HIMSS. I’ll probably be stopping by since it’s the day after the New Media Meetup at HIMSS. Well, one of my favorite healthcare IT writers, Neil Versel wrote an article for FierceEMR that really caught my eye. It was titled, “Kibbe: New ONC standards make CCHIT process ‘irrelevant'”

If you’ve read this blog for any time you know that I’m an enormous fan of CCHIT (that was in the sarcasm font in case you couldn’t tell). I even declared the Marginalization of CCHIT back in July of last year. So, obviously I agree with David Kibbe’s assertion that the CCHIT process is irrelevant thanks to the HITECH act. A section of the article linked above describes some of the major problems with CCHIT:

Kibbe long has said the CCHIT certification process discourages innovation by being too complicated and costly for new, small companies that otherwise might shake up the EHR market with lower-priced, easier-to-use products. He also has held that the certification body was too closely tied to the health IT establishment. “CCHIT in effect acted as judge and jury for its own industry’s definition of EHR software, inhibiting alternative approaches that would embrace component or modular architectures, web-based delivery also known as ‘software-as-a-service,’ and practical means of achieving interoperable data exchange between applications from different vendors,” he says in a recent blog post.

No doubt the CCHIT criteria is no longer meaningful. The only problem is that a question still haunts my mind, “Did we just move the flawed process from CCHIT to ONC?”

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.


  • If you’ve read this blog for any time you know that I’m an enormous fan of CCHIT (that was in the sarcasm font in case you couldn’t tell).

    Hmm, I couldn’t tell. Let me examine your css … 😉 On the serious side, while the new rules and certification process are designed to be vendor and organization independent, CCHIT is hardly out of the picture and is likely to become an accredited certifying body once those guidelines are released. To paraphrase “The Princess Bride,” perhaps CCHIT is only mostly “irrelevant.”

  • A reference to CSS and “The Princess Bride” in a comment sets a pretty high bar for comments on this site. Nicely done.

    To your point, you’re right that CCHIT isn’t destroyed by this. That’s why my previous post was that CCHIT was “marginalized.” However, if you look carefully at the title it says the CCHIT Process is irrelevant. The process referred to by David Kibbe is CCHIT’s process of establishing a set of EHR certification standards. That has become irrelevant. Whether they become an EHR certifying body is still alive and likely to happen.

  • *blushes at compliment* Ahem, agreed that the process has certainly been moved out of the CCHIT arena and into the ONC’s. Time alone will tell how effective the new certification process is, especially once someone actually starts handing out the stimulus golden tickets. Looking forwrad to finally seeing the testing process BAH is working on.

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