Commission Announces First Hospital Certified Under Each Program

CHICAGO - Jan. 24, 2011 - The Certification Commission announced today that EHR technology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Boston has been certified as a complete EHR under CCHIT's new EHR Alternative Certification for Hospitals (EACHTM), an ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification program for installed hospital EHR technology.  BIDMC, the first hospital to be certified, took part in a pilot program prior to the official launch of the EACH program on Jan. 18, 2011.  

 "BIDMC, like many academic health centers, has a combination of built and bought technologies that collectively provide interoperability, clinical functionality, and security," said John D. Halamka, MD, MS, chief information officer, BIDMC and Harvard Medical School and author of the blog Life as a Healthcare CIO.  "The EACH inspection process was rigorous, requiring us to follow over 500 pages of scripts and implementation guides in a single day long demonstration. The staff at CCHIT was remarkable, educating us about the NIST script requirements, emphasizing the need to prepare and clarifying aspects of the NIST scripts that were ambiguous or seemed clinically unusual."

Certified EHR technology is required for hospitals to qualify for ARRA funding and avoid future Medicare penalties. CCHIT's EACH certification is a program designed for hospitals that have uncertified legacy software, customized commercial products, or have developed their own EHR systems.  The EACH certification testing relies on standards and criteria developed by Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and testing procedures and tools developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

"Our staff enjoyed working with BIDMC in the EACH pilot program," said Bambi Rose, CCHIT testing and certification program director. "Their participation helped us refine the training and assessment tools that we've developed to prepare hospitals for an ONC-ATCB inspection. We're delighted to see this successful certification as the outcome of their careful preparation using those tools."   

The EACH program offers:

  • A series of self-paced, online learning programs designed to prepare EACH program applicants for testing and certification
  • Online inventory and self-assessment tools developed to help hospitals evaluate how their installed EHR technology measures up to ONC's  criteria and standards
  • Additional hands-on support provided by CCHIT's EACH program staff and access to an online community of other hospitals participating in  the EACH program

CCHIT is developing a similar program for physicians and other ambulatory providers that have self-developed EHR technology, which will be launched in the second quarter of this year.

More information about the EACH program is available at  Representatives of individual hospitals and hospital associations also are invited to meet with CCHIT experts to learn more about the program during the forthcoming meeting of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 20 - 23, 2011.  Appointments may be scheduled with Diana Coniglio, CCHIT marketing coordinator, at [email protected].

Alternative certification is not needed if a hospital has adopted an EHR with complete certification, or a combination of certified EHR modules that meet all of the 2011/2012 certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of HHS to support the meaningful use objectives established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) of HHS.
CCHIT has been certifying EHR technology since 2006 and was approved by ONC as an Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB) on Sept. 3, 2010.

In addition to ONC-ATCB certification, CCHIT continues to offer its independently developed CCHIT Certified® program for products that exceed the federal standards and are designed for hospitals and physician practices that want greater assurance that their EHR products will support the unique business and patient care needs of their clinicians. CCHIT Certified products also may be certified under the ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 program.

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) is 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 is approved by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB).  More information on CCHIT, CCHIT Certified® products and ONC-ATCB certified electronic health record technology is available at

"CCHIT®" and "CCHIT Certified®" are registered trademarks of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology.