On April 7 CCHIT will offer Preliminary ARRA Certfication with free bridge to Final

CCHIT has probably been hearing lots of rumblings about the ONC and HHS’s inability to provide meaningful use certification fast enough for providers and hospitals to get start with product and vendor selection. At healthSystemCIO.com Anthony reports that CCHIT will be offering, staring in just a couple of weeks, their Preliminary ARRA Certification once again. According the healthSystemCIO:

The program materials, including revised program policies, applications, criteria, test scripts and other guidance will be available at http://www.cchit.org/get_certified beginning on April 7.

Although I have no inside knowledge, I suspect that so many vendors are complaining about lack of sufficient speed by ONC that CCHIT either felt the need on its own to restart its preliminary program or was nudged by ONC to do so. What I like about the new Preliminary offering is what Mark Leavitt said about the free retest (emphasis mine):

Preliminary ARRA — a certification program that tests Complete EHRs or EHR Modules against the Meaningful Use Stage 1 certification criteria in the Interim Final Rule (IFR) issued by HHS/ONC in January. The Preliminary ARRA program is designed to demonstrate that a vendor’s product is “extremely well prepared to be certified” once ONC-accredited testing and certification becomes available (but the final criteria and test procedures are not yet available, nor has CCHIT been accredited yet by ONC). “When those events occur, CCHIT will replace the Preliminary ARRA program with a final, ONC-accredited ARRA certification program. Vendors with Preliminary ARRA certification can undergo retesting by CCHIT at no additional cost to receive a fully-accredited certification once it is available.

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5 thoughts on “On April 7 CCHIT will offer Preliminary ARRA Certfication with free bridge to Final

  1. Hi,
    It was really good post lot of useful information. On the point of usability and defining the term 'meaningful use', I would say that the medical practitioners are looking to avail of this federal incentive by trying to comply with the definition of meaningful use but at the same time EHR providers are looking at their own set of profits.
    This misunderstanding is mostly I believe as a result of wrong interpretation of the federal guidelines. The EHR providers need to look at these guidelines from the prospective of the practitioners who deal with different specialties.
    Each specialty EHR has its own set of challenges or requirements which I believe is overlooked by im most EHR vendors in a effort to merely follows federal guidelines. This is resulting in low usability to the practitioners, thus less ROI, finally redundancy of the EHR solution in place.
    I think ROI is very important factor that should be duly considered when look achieve a 'meaning use' out of a EHR solution. Though one may get vendors providing 'meaning use' at a lower cost, their ROI / savings through the use of their EHR might be pretty low when compared to costlier initial investment. Found a pretty useful ROI tool [http://www.waitingroomsolutions.com/wrs/emr-ehr-roi-calculator] that is pretty customizable and easy to use. It also accounts for the different specialty EHR's too.
    There are other good references on the topics of:
    Usability/meaningful usehttp://www.waitingroomsolutions.com/wrs/arra-stimulus-money-44k-arra-emr-stimulus-bill-arra-ehr-stimulus-incentives”

    Certification criteria for EHR:

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