Will CCHIT’s Decision to Pull the Plug on its EHR Certification Impact Data Centers?

Data center compliance certification is a challenging task. The challenge stems from the unpredictable nature of business operations, due to the need to make constant changes in processes and upgrades to software and hardware, to keep up-to-date of both technological and commercial developments.

Will CCHIT’s Decision to Pull the Plug on its EHR Certification Impact Data Centers?This fluid business environment means that certifications, and the standards such certifications strive to maintain, are not static. Almost all standards undergo periodic revisions to ensure that it stay relevant with changes in technology and business processes. Moreover, some certifications become irrelevant or drop out, to be replaced by other more relevant standards.

An example of the latter trend is Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT)’s latest move to end its Electronic Health Record (EHR) certification. The news is surprising and unexpected considering that CCHIT ranks at the very top when it comes to EHR certification. CCHIT tests and certifies software that deals with electronic health records for meaningful use, offering stakeholders an insight into the reliability, integrity and capability of the systems in place.

CCHIT’s stated reason to end its certification business – that it cannot cope up with the complexity and change – is revealing of the nature of the certification industry. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), which lay down and revises the standards that CCHIT and other vendors incorporate in their certifications, has rolled out very complex requirements for its 2014 edition, and CCHIT evaluates that it is financially unviable for them to go ahead.

CCHIT’s decision, however, need not affect data centers or its customers. The nature of the status of EHR technology certifications do not change as a result of CCHIT’s decision to pull out. At the end of the day, CCHIT is one vendor among many vendors who offers software that helps data centers and companies comply with the ONC regulations. CCHIT has almost become the de-facto industry standard, and data centers would simply have to look at another vendor.

CCHIT has put in place a transition plan so that customers who currently use CCHIT’s certification services do not face any disruptions in certifications when migrating to the new provider. CCHIT would also complete any certification underway before they shut down operations.
CCHIT recommends that its existing customers migrate to ICSA Labs, as both of them use similar processes and the latter has adequate capacity to serve new customers.

Concerned about these changes and how it can impact your data center operations? Talk to us today.  At Lifeline Data Centers, we deliver multi-level compliance solutions in audit-ready data centers with in-house expertise.

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.