The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT®) is an independent nonprofit organization with the mission of accelerating the adoption of robust, interoperable health information technology. The Commission has been certifying electronic health record technology since 2006, and is approved by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as an Authorized Testing and Certification Body (ONC-ATCB).


When CCHIT determined to create the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Alternative Certification for Healthcare Providers program, they also decided to implement a new online approach to help these organizations in preparation. Dubbed EACH™, the program evaluates how installed EHR technology at hospital and physician sites measures up to the requirements outlined by HHS to support meaningful use, as well as pursue certification for existing EHR technology not already covered by a vendor certification. By introducing a new portal with content, self-paced learning, and readiness tools, CCHIT aimed to streamline the EHR certification training and assessment process for its clients.

The challenge was to ensure that individual certification communities or portals would be configurable on the degree of commonality and divergence from one another—with some being entirely separate sites, while others shared some level of information or client states between them. Each certification program would feature internal tiers that dictated access to content and progress along the certification preparation path. Therefore, clients needed to self-manage their organizations as much as possible to lower program operating costs.


After researching several portal frameworks, CCHIT concluded that Liferay offered the best set of pre-built portlets to match their functionality needs. With its open-source development model, Liferay was also extensible for the areas of customization CCHIT needed to meet their business requirements.

After choosing the product, CCHIT decided to employ a partner, XTIVIA, to help accomplish their goals. XTIVIA worked closely with their IT and business teams in a phased approach using Agile development methodologies to deliver a proper solution. The implementation involved customization of core Liferay functionality, web content management, custom portlet development, themes and layouts, custom-integrated role architecture, and various integrations with third-party SaaS applications.

The Liferay customizations worked towards enhancing user experience, both for clients and their end-users. Enhancements began during the first steps a new client would take upon entering the portal. A streamlined form creates the user and their organization in a single step, establishing this user as the organization’s administrator. The second step to becoming a full member involved a modified shopping cart that allowed for both Paypal and offline payments. Upon becoming a full member of the community, a client could add more users to handle various aspects of the certification preparation process, as they progressed through the multiple tiers of the training and pre-certification automated workflows.

Key goals included the delivery of integrated content as well as community and application portal infrastructure with the ability for each of its clients to manage their own users. It also included creating a portal infrastructure with the ability to host multiple, branded portals for each of its certification programs, each with their own supporting community. XTIVIA’s team delivered on a very challenging timeline, progressing from a partial product concept to initial release in less than four months—followed by the full multi-certification program release three months later. XTIVIA trained and handed over the completed project ahead of schedule, delivering value and a market-leading portal for its customer.

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