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CCHIT Topics - Archived

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CCHIT Summary

The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) has published ambulatory certification criteria on their web page: CCHIT Web Site - look here for for the most current information. CCHIT has been in existence since about 2006 and the criteria have been revised several times.

The United States Department of Health and Human services and the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology have published a definition of what they consider to be Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records. These criteria have divided into five very broad policies:

  1. Improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities
  2. Engage Patients And Families.
  3. Improve Care Coordination.
  4. Improve population and public health
  5. Ensure adequate privacy and security protections for personal health information

Other References

Ronald Leemhuis did some early testing of how OpenEMR stacks up against the 2008 criteria: Initial CCHIT Functionality Testing

This topic had been much discussed by the OpenEMR project at SourceForge:

Organizational Meeting Notes

We have had four organizational teleconferences and here are the transcripts:

Criteria Breakdown Categories

The Criteria are further subdivided into the large categories of Functionality, Interoperability, and Security:


The ability to create and handle electronic records for all of a physician practice's patients, as well as computerize the flow of work in the office. There are approximately 400 functionality criteria. The areas covered are:

  • Organizing patient data
  • Compiling lists
  • Receiving and displaying information
  • Creating orders
  • Supporting decisions
  • Authorized sharing
  • Administrative and billing support
  • Graphical reports
  • Automatic alerts
  • Maintaining documents and guidelines
  • Disease and drug management


The ability to receive and send electronic data between an EHR and outside sources of information such as labs, pharmacies and other EHRs in physician offices and hospitals. There are approximately two dozen Interoperability criteria.

The broad areas required are:


  • Ensure adequate privacy and security protections for personal health information
    • The ability to maintain patient information safe and private. CCHIT requires ambulatory EHR products to provide state-of-the-art technical capabilities.

The broad areas covered are:

CCHIT Security To Do List - Created by Visolve

Exchange Clinical Information

  • Requirements of Exchange Clinical Information
  • HIE User Interface
  • Interoperability with openpixpdq and openxds
  • Workflow Diagrams

Provide Patient with Timely Electronic Access to Health Information

  • Requirements of Provide Patient with Timely Electronics Access Requirements

Provide Patient with Electronic copy of their Health Information upon Request

  • Requirements of Provide Patient Electronic Health Information Requirements

Capability to Submit Electronic Data to Immunization Registries

  • Capability to Submit Electronic Data to Immunization Registry Requirements

Capability to Provide Electronic Syndromic Surveillance Data to Public Health Agencies

  • Capability to Provide Electronic Syndromic Surveillance Requirements

Testing and QA for ONC Certification


HHS Certification Updated for 2010

Current Status

Certification Criteria

The Certification Criteria for Meaningful Use Stage 1 by Eligible Professionals:

  1. Use Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE)
  2. Implement drug-drug, drug-allergy, drug-formulary checks
  3. Maintain an up-to-date problem list of current and active diagnoses based on ICD-9-CM or SNOMED CT®
  4. Generate and transmit permissible prescriptions electronically (eRx)
  5. Maintain active medication list
  6. Maintain active medication allergy list
  7. Record demographics
    1. Preferred language
    2. Insurance type
    3. Gender
    4. Race
    5. Ethnicity
    6. Date of birth
  8. Record and chart changes in vital signs:
    1. Height
    2. Weight
    3. Blood pressure
    4. Calculate and display: BMI
    5. Plot and display growth charts for children 2-20 years, including BMI
  9. Record smoking status for patients 13 years old or older
  10. Incorporate clinical lab-test results into EHR as structured data
  11. Generate lists of patients by specific conditions to use for quality improvement, reduction of disparities, and outreach
  12. Report ambulatory quality measures to CMS or the States
  13. Send reminders to patients per patient preference for preventative / follow up care
  14. Implement 5 clinical decision support rules relevant to specialty or high clinical priority, including diagnostic test ordering, along with the ability to track compliance with those rules
  15. Check insurance eligibility electonically from public and private payers
  16. Submit claims electronically to public and private payers
  17. Provide patients with an electronic copy of their health information (including diagnostic test results, problem list, medication lists, allergies) upon request
  18. (Not Applicable to Eligible Physicians) Provide patients with an electronic copy of their discharge instructions and procedures at time of discharge, upon request
  19. Provide patients with timely electronic access to their health information (including lab results, problem list, medication lists, allergies) within 96 hours of the information being available to the eligible professional
  20. Provide clinical summaries for patients for each office visit
  21. Capability to exchange key clinical information (for example problem list, medication list, allergies, diagnostic test results) among providers of care and patient authorized entities electronically
  22. Provide summary care record for each transition of care and referral
  23. Perform medication reconciliation at relevant encounters and each transition of care
  24. Capability to submit electronic data to immunization registries and actual submission where required and accepted
  25. Capability to provide electronic submission of reportable lab results (as required by state or local law) to public health agencies and actual submission where it can be received
  26. Capability to provide electronic syndromic surveillance data to public health agencies and actual transmission according to applicable law and practice
  27. Protect electronic health information created or maintained by the certified EHR technology through the implementation of appropriate technical capabilities

Gap Analysis

The gap analysis will be started once the certification criteria have been reviewed.

Project Plan

The project plan will completed following the gap analysis.

Action Items & Backlog

The outstanding items for HHS Certification process will be tracked here.