Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Squeaky wheels seek CCHIT oil

CCHIT's timeline for EMR certification excludes ophthalmology-specific EMRs like IO Practiceware until the year 2011. While we in the Eye Care community have an overwhelming urge to go Chuck Norris on CCHIT, we're going to first try peaceful resistance.

If you believe in the value of specialty-specific EMRs, make your voice heard! Post comments below.

To start the dialogue, here is a letter from Gregory Leopold, CEO of IO Practiceware:
Some of the most innovative EMRs are specialty-specific. This is certainly true in ophthalmology. While it may be self-serving to say so, it is true that non-specialty specific EMR have generally failed to supply ophthalmology practices with the tools they need to record their exams properly and cost effectively. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has been working with a group of ophthalmology-specific EMR companies to develop scripts for CCHIT certification for ophthalmology-specific EMR vendors. The work on these scripts has been completed and they could be used immediately to certify ophthalmology specific EMR companies.

While we appreciate CCHIT’s willingness to work with us in this area, the timeline for completion of the CCHIT certification process for eye care – which is currently set for 2011 – is unacceptable. Other EMR vendors in the AAO sponsored group share my concern and disquietude.

It is crucial that the timeline be moved to 2009 – or that some sort of arrangements are made for ophthalmology-specific EMR companies to receive some sort of “in progress” certification that allows us to participate in a marketplace that increasingly shuts out non-CCHIT certified products.
Either let us in now or tell the world that it’s OK for us to be “in the process”. It would be a great disservice to the cause of EMR if CCHIT were to drive some of the most innovative EMR companies out of business because it could not certify them promptly.
If our respectful protestations don't get CCHIT's attention, we may have to resort to Article B: a diatribe of semi-vulgar, though pun-obscured expletives entitled, "Cut the *BULLCCHIT*" (stay tuned).


  1. My office uses a specialty-specific EMR and we believe strongly in the efficacy of these products. CCHIT will limit severely the nationwide pursuit of interconnected and usable EMRs if they fail to evaluate those EMRs that are truly succeeding in helping practices.

  2. Well Said. There should at least be some sort of pre-certification status that lets doctors know if a company is on the way to being certified, even if the timeline extends to 2011. Otherwise doctors like myself are misled into thinking specialty-specific EMRs are somehow less equipped or less interconnected.

  3. Cut the bullcchit! haha

  4. I agree. Specialty specific EMRs are where its at!

  5. I'm just surprised that you're not grateful that you don't have to go through the time and expense associated with CCHIT Certification for no benefit. Ok, there is some marketing benefit to CCHIT certification. Maybe you should just consider spending your CCHIT certification money on marketing instead. I know of a few good ones (like my website).

    I do agree with you though, that specialty EMRs definitely have their place and CCHIT really ruins it for most doctors that don't get a chance to see them through the BullCCHIT.

  6. Why do you want to go through CCHIT certification? It only real benefit is to the certifier and not to the consumer. In fact it will ultimately drive the price of the software up.