CCHIT Announces more healthcare providers Certifying EHRs in EACH Program

CHICAGO - July 13, 2011 - The Certification Commission announced today that five more healthcare systems have joined Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in certifying complete or modular EHRs under CCHIT's EHR Alternative Certification for Healthcare Providers, or EACH, an ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 certification program for already installed EHR technology.  Those organizations now include:

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Boston, MA

Complete EHR

Hospital & Eligible Provider

Health Management Associates

Naples, FL

Modular EHR


New York University Langone Medical Center

New York, NY

Complete EHR


Northwestern University

Chicago, IL

Modular EHR


Tenet Healthsystem Medical, Inc.

Dallas, TX

Modular EHR


University of North Carolina Health Care

Chapel Hill, NC

Complete EHR


Certified EHR technology is required for hospitals and eligible providers to qualify for ARRA funding and avoid future Medicare penalties. CCHIT's EACH certification is a program designed for healthcare providers 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 the Office the National Coordinator (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and testing procedures and tools developed for ONC by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

Participants had words of advice for others considering certifying their in-place self-developed or legacy EHR technology.  "There are many myths about what is required to achieve certification and meaningful use," said John Halamka, M.D., Beth Israel Deaconess's chief information officer. "The major challenge is not technology; it's education. Partner as soon as you can with an authorized testing and certification body and get educated about the requirements because you will find it's quite doable," he said. 

Garima Sharma, manager of clinical analytics and operations for Northwestern University's Enterprise Data Warehouse, noted that Northwestern relied heavily on CCHIT's EACH online forum. "It's a growing community.  I see a lot of people having their questions answered ," she said.  "In fact many times, if you search through the forum, you'll find your questions have already been answered.  So it's not only that CCHIT has weekly webinars where you have the ability to ask your questions, but they also have a growing library of information of previously asked questions which helped us a lot. " 

 "Practice.  Practice, practice, practice," said John Baba, University of North Carolina's chief technology officer.  "The more we practiced through the scripts, on the day that the certification testing came, it was so easy.  We did dry runs. We couldn't have done it without those. And we actually recorded our dry runs, too, so we could watch them over and over again to get more confident and more comfortable with it.  That was our biggest thing to help us through the certification." 

More about the certification experiences of these health systems is available in a podcast  at

The Certification Commission's EACH program is open to any healthcare provider who cannot rely solely on vendor certification to meet the requirement of possessing certified EHR technology to support meaningful use.  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. 

About EACH

The EACH program offers:

  • A series of self-paced, online learning programs designed to prepare EACH program applicants for ONC-ATCB 2011/2012 testing and certification
  • Online inventory and self-assessment tools developed to help healthcare providers 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 providers participating in the EACH program

More information about the EACH program is available at 

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.