Public Comment Period For Expanded 2011 Certification Criteria Open

CHICAGO - Nov 17, 2009 - The first public comment period for the Certification Commission's 2011 development cycle is open through Dec. 11, 2009. Comments will be accepted on the first draft of criteria for Behavioral Health electronic health records (EHRs) - both standalone and as an optional add-on to Comprehensive Ambulatory EHR certification - as well as add-on certifications for Clinical Research and Dermatology.  After additional rounds of comment and refinement, these new certification options will be made available to vendors in July 2010.  Comments will only be taken through the Commission's Web site at

"Dedicated volunteers in these specialty care areas have done a remarkable job drafting criteria that will provide more options for our 2011 Comprehensive certification program," said Mark Leavitt, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Commission. "Our goal is to recognize the diversity of medical practices and specializations that make up health care, and tailor certification programs accordingly."

Dr. Leavitt also noted, "We have received over 20 applications for our 2011 certification programs, with both the CCHIT Comprehensive and the Preliminary ARRA pathways represented.   We will be announcing the first products certified soon."

The Commission also plans to open public comment from Dec. 14, 2009 through Jan. 12, 2010 on the first round of criteria for Long Term and Post Acute Care (LTPAC) EHRs. The first priority for this new domain is development of a core set of criteria for the collection of care settings encompassed in LTPAC and specific criteria for the first two settings - skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies - identified as priorities by the Commission's LTPAC Advisory Task Force. These certification programs are also scheduled for a July 2010 launch.

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that has been recognized by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) since 2006 as an official certification body for electronic health records (EHR). Its public mission is to accelerate the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology.  More information on CCHIT, CCHIT Certified® products and Preliminary ARRA certified technology is available at and

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