ONC to meet with potential CCHIT alternatives

SEATTLE—Here’s a juicy rumor from the first day of the sixth annual Healthcare Unbound conference: the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is planning a July meeting with several people considering starting up certification bodies to compete with the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology.

I say it’s a rumor because I haven’t been able to confirm this information yet. It does make plenty of sense, though. ONC head Dr. David Blumenthal wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine back in March that “many certified EHRs are neither user-friendly nor designed to meet HITECH’s ambitious goal of improving quality and efficiency in the health care system.”

This does not mean that CCHIT will get frozen out of the certification process, just that it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the federal government recognizes more than one certifying entity.