Finally, a thoughtful argument against CCHIT

CHICAGO—For all the ranting and pseudononymous posting going on of late regarding the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology, there hasn’t been a real, cohesive, thoughtful argument that CCHIT critics can hang their hat on. Until now.

This morning, Will Weider, the Candid CIO, wrote a cohesive, thoughtful argument about why the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act makes the current CCHIT mechanism unworkable. “However, assuming CCHIT can determine acceptable EHR functionality is based on the flawed assumption that an EHR is a single purchase from a single commercial vendor. Organizations that have achieved EHR functionality through the use of multiple specialized applications don’t have a certified EHR in the eyes of CCHIT (and therefore in the eyes of the ARRA it appears),” Weider writes.

He makes it clear he’s a fan of CCHIT and places the real blame on the lawmakers who wrote ARRA. (Leave it to Congress to screw up the best intentions.) But this gives us a good, true starting point for a debate on certification. Semi-sane rants do not.