Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Preparing for Certification

Some have said that certification will be costly and time consuming.

In the Standards Final Rule Cost analysis, HHS estimates that a previously certified EHR will cost at least $500,000 and likely $1 million or more to prepare for the new certification. A system for eligible professionals that has never been certified will cost at least $1.2 million and likely close to $2.4 million to achieve certification. Hospital systems will cost perhaps $1 million more. Achieving standards compliance nationwide could cost developers and users more than $136 million.

In my conversations with folks applying to be Authorized Testing and Certification Bodies, I believe these estimates should be substantially reduced. For example, if vendors already have a CCHIT certified ambulatory product, the only new items to add are CCR/CCD display, the smoking status options, the quality measure calculations, and Syndromic surveillance (an optional menu set criteria).

Today, I kicked off the BIDMC Site Certification activities. Since Site Certification is a new concept, I will keep you informed what we do, how we do it and what it costs.

BIDMC has chosen to work with CCHIT when their program for site certification becomes available. My first step is working with CCHIT in a pilot program to test their attestation website and other supporting tools, then prepare for a web-ex demonstration of each certification criterion.

Note: BIDMC is one of a number of participants in a pilot program designed to validate the supporting tools and processes for CCHIT's EHR Alternative Certification for Hospitals (EACH™), an ONC-ATCB EHR certification program for customized or self-developed hospital EHR technology slated for launch by CCHIT late this year. The program relies solely on HHS criteria and standards, and NIST test procedures. None of the testing results observed during this pilot and reported here should be interpreted as final.


Keith W. Boone said...


I'd love for you to be right about certification costs, but I just don't see it. I built a sample project plan just to verify it for myself. You should take a look.


Kelly said...

Could you clarify what you mean by site certification? How does it differ from EHR Module certification?