CCHIT Outlines New EHR and HIE Interoperability Test

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT) recently published a whitepaper titled “Interoperability Testing: Where the Rubber Hits the Road,” which analyzes the organization’s efforts to promote electronic health record (EHR) and health information exchange (HIE) interoperability at the federal, state, and local levels.

CCHIT was selected to carry out the interoperability testing by the Interoperability Workgroup (IWG) and the non-profit Healtheway, after the public-private partnership announced a program in October 2012 that would test and certify EHRs and HIEs to ensure the reliable transfer of data within and across organizational and state boundaries.

The following certifications are among the key components of the HIE compliance testing and certification program, as outlined in the whitepaper:

  • HIE Certified Direct: For EHR and HISP systems, which certifies compliance of products with Direct protocol so providers can send patient info directly through internet
  • HIE Certified Community: Allows clinicians to share patient info within and across care delivery communities
  • HIE Certified Network: For health IT systems that enable HIE-to-HIE connectivity and for connection to eHealth Exchange


The report noted that certification will be specific to each technology and each version of a product. Additionally, applicants must meet all testing requirements to qualify for certification.

The goal of CCHIT’s standardized testing is to guarantee that providers and purchasers of EHRs and HIE systems are fully capable of plug and play interoperability. The new testing system also eliminates the great expense previously associated with interconnecting disparate EHR systems through custom interfaces. Meanwhile, EHR vendors can be sure they meet the government’s stricter meaningful use stage 2 criteria, which take effect next year.


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