CCHIT Exits the EHR Certification Business, Announces New Strategy with Focus on Consulting

A bit of a “me too” post, but worth sharing nonetheless: Today, CCHIT announced a new strategic direction that will return it to its founding public mission of supporting the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology. CCHIT plans to offer direct counsel to both healthcare providers and health IT developers on the requirements for certified EHR technology and how to best satisfy HIT regulations published by organizations and governments. With a more global focus, and in alliance with HIMSS, CCHIT will also develop new programs and policy guidance aimed at achieving interoperability and supporting change in the way providers and patients around the world use IT to positively transform health and healthcare.
As part of this change, CCHIT will no longer offer ONC testing and certification services, or its independently developed certification programs.
“It’s apparent to both providers and vendors that the pace of ONC 2014 Edition certification has been slowed by the challenges of more rigorous criteria and testing, and the timing and nature of future federal health IT program requirements remain uncertain. With these changes, we canprovide a greater level of support and counsel to providers and vendors, something we could not undertake as a government authorized certification body,” said Alisa Ray, CCHIT executive director. “At the same time, returning to our independent work, we can convene thought leaders and advisory groups to provide policy and governance recommendations, and guidance to the healthcare community here and internationally.”
CCHIT will continue to operate The Source, its subscription-based ONC testing and certification preparation service. At the completion of CCHIT’s transition, a new menu of individualized services focused on topics such as Understanding ONC Certification Criteria and Test Methods, Interoperability, and Clinical Quality Measures and Meaningful Use Reporting will be added to help EHR developers. New services designed especially for healthcare providers will be added incrementally.
CCHIT will develop new programs with a global charter that will include the participation of HIT thought leaders and multi-stakeholder advisory groups, with a series of summits and events to support that work. CCHIT is entering into an alliance with HIMSS to benefit from its deep understanding of healthcare provider and HIT industry needs, domestically and internationally, and enhance the chances of success of CCHIT’s new programs. CCHIT intends to launch these new services at HIMSS14, on February 26, 2014, in Orlando, Fla.
“Both HIMSS and CCHIT share the common and long-term goal of improving health with information technology,” said Carla Smith, MA, CNM, FHIMSS, HIMSS executive vice president. “This alliance allows our organizations to combine our considerable knowledge and experience to better serve our stakeholders as we work together to further positive patient outcomes.”
CCHIT’s customers have been notified of this change. CCHIT has recommended that its customers accept an offer from ICSA Labs to maintain their certification or apply for new testing services. CCHIT chose ICSA Labs, an independent division of Verizon Enterprise Solutions, and an ONC-Authorized Certification body and Accredited HIT Test Laboratory, to support its customers because of the expertise of its staff and its processes. CCHIT will assist and support its customers as services are transferred.
“This move works at many levels in the best interest of companies that are developing EHRs and those in the medical community who use EHRs. Each of us – CCHIT, HIMSS and ICSA Labs – will be concentrating on what we know and do best,” said Ray.
Along with this new strategic direction, CCHIT has restructured its board of trustees with the following health and health IT leaders constituting the new board:


Dana Alexander RN, MSN, MBA, FAAN, FHIMSS

VP Integrated Care Delivery & Chief Nursing, Caradigm

Lori Evans Bernstein

President, GSI Health


CMIO, Stratis Health

Grace Terrell MD, MMM, CPE

President & CEO, Cornerstone

Andrew M. Wiesenthal, MD, SM

Director, Deloitte Consulting, LLP

Hal Wolf


Michael H. Zaroukian, MD, PhD, FACP, FHIMSS

Vice President & Chief Medical Information Officer, Sparrow Health System

The work of CCHIT’s board of Commissioners has concluded and will be replaced by multi-stakeholder advisory groups, which will be named later.


The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) has operated as an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the public mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology. The Commission has been certifying electronic health record technology since 2006 and was authorized in 2012 by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a certification body (ONC-ACB). CCHIT is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a certification body for the ONC HIT Certification Program for  electronic health record (EHR) technology and accredited by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as an Accredited Testing Laboratory (ATL) to test EHRs.

“CCHIT” and “CCHIT Certified” are registered trademarks of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.

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