Making Sense of CCHIT Standards for EHR

The unpredictability and risks associated with digital data has promoted the establishment of compliance frameworks in just about all sectors. The need for compliance is even more so with Electronic Health Records (EHR), where even a slight deviation from the expected can mean a difference between life and death. It is not only hypercritical to ensure accuracy of data, but it is also essential to maintain the integrity and up-time of health information exchange (HIE) at all times.

In the U.S., the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT), an independent not-for-profit group, is one of the authorized agencies to certify electronic health records (EHR) and health information exchange (HIE) networks.
The CCHIT standards cover three broad areas:

  • Functionality: The 350-odd functional criteria make sure that the data center has the ability to create and manage electronic records for all functions that a physician undertakes in relation to a patients care, with efficiency and by adhering to high quality standards. The criteria also ensure automating the flow of such data. The criteria relate to organizing patient data into demographics, clinical documentation and medical history, receiving and displaying information such as test results, consents and other documentation, authorized sharing of data, managing the workflow, and more.
  • Interoperability: Ensuring the seamless sending and receiving of electronic data between the EHR and outside stakeholders, such as physician’s office, hospitals, labs and pharmacies. A data center with CCHIT compliance adheres to the almost twenty-five laid-down standards when sending or receiving clinical data.
  • Security: CCHIT compliance requires the data center to have in place authentication, access-control, encryption, data centre audits, systematic data-backups and strong anti-malware protection. There are about 50 functional criteria laid down towards this end.

CCHIT standards are good data management practices in its own right, regardless of the type or nature of data in place.

When you move your data to the cloud or a data center, make sure that the data centre complies with all the required compliance framework. Also make sure that compliance is not just namesake, but that the data centre has robust measures in place to ensure data integrity and efficiency. For a free consultation on data center solutions, visit today.

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.