ICSA labs certifies first home-grown custom EHR

Authorized testing and certification body ICSA announced that it recently certified its first custom electronic health record currently deployed by a hospital, Kansas-based Via Christi Health. The group's prior certifications had been limited to "commercial off-the-shelf and open-source solutions," it said in its announcement.

According to ICSA Labs, the health system had developed its custom EHR system internally and was leery about investing in a new system.

"Certifying our own software not only proved more cost effective for Via Christi Health, it was significantly less disruptive for our doctors and caregivers," Dave Gestenslager, application architecture manager for  Via Christi Health, said in the announcement. "Instead of asking our doctors to switch to a new solution, our physicians were able to continue to use software with which they were already familiar. This enabled them to focus on delivering excellent patient care, instead of learning new technology."

According to EHRWatch editor Jeff Rowe, this development is good news for hospitals like Via Christ Health that want to qualify for the Meaningful Use incentive program but are running legacy EHR systems.

At least two other certifying bodies--Drummond Group and the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT)--both launched programs in 2011 to help hospitals certify their own home-grown custom systems.

To learn more:
- read ICSA Lab's announcement
- here's information on CCHIT's program
- check out Drummond Group's program
- read this EHRWatch blog post