Certification Commission for Health Information Technology was an independent, nonprofit organization with the public mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology.
What Does Certification Require?
The CCHIT offered certification based on an EHR product’s functionality, compatibility, and security. All three areas feature different standards and criteria that must be met.
Very simply, EHR products need to offer every capability a doctor needs to manage their patient’s health care in an efficient, quality, and safe manner in an electronic format.
Some of the broad functionality criteria are:
- Organizing data – compiling the patient’s medical history, including clinical documents or lab results, as well as any medication or allergies
- Receiving and showing information – the ability to receive and gather information from sources outside the practice
- Making orders – ordering medication or other diagnostic tests
- Managing workflow – scheduling clinical tasks, managing medication intake, communicating with pharmacies for patient prescriptions
- Authorized sharing – managing relations with patients, maintaining privacy, coordinating with other health care providers for the betterment of the patient
- Administrative and billing support – assisting with financial aid and insurance coverage
Patients value the privacy of their medical history, and each EHR technology needs the ability to maintain proper security standards.
These criteria are:
- User authentication
- Access restricted to the user’s role or contest of care situation
- Auditing access and use of records
- Encrypting data sent out of the network
- Virus and malware protection
- Data backup in case of computer loss or compromise
With the advancing and changing of technology daily, it’s important for EHR products to meet a base of standards to send and receive medical data and adapt and update when necessary.
Some broad areas of required compatibility are:
- Laboratory results – the ability to receive and file lab results, whether preliminary or final tests and process those results. The capability to view x-ray images is also needed.
- Electronic prescribing – maintain federal standards for sending new prescriptions, authorizing refills, ensuring that the medication is available, checking the patient’s eligibility for said medication, and receiving medication history from the pharmacy.
- Exchanging summary documents – sending and receiving patient medical summaries from outside systems or networks