Healthcare Usability Topics

Usability and User-Centered Design: A reminder to members of the EHR Developers Association

The Electronic Health Record Association (EHR Association), a non-profit association of more than 40 EHR companies, created an electronic health record (EHR) Developer Code of Conduct, which aims to encourage transparency and collaboration among EHR developers, as well as developers, providers, and industry stakeholders. The latest version of the code of conduct is available as a pdf here: http://bit.ly/13A1oLc

On the first page, the very first item (after a general statement) is Patient Safety.
The code says:

Top 10 Healthcare Usability Myths Debunked

Top 10 EHR Usability Myths - Debunked

Here are the Top 10 Healthcare Usability Myths Debunked

Myth # 1 Clinicians are uncomfortable with technology and just need more training.

Fact: Current HIT systems often don’t fit the way end users think and work.

Myth # 2 Put it all on 1 screen to make it easier to use.

Fact: Developers need to understand workflows and tasks to know what information is needed.

Myth # 3 Whoever has the Most features wins.

Fact: Vet your current feature set. Less may be more.

AHA, AMA: Meaningful Use Requirements Should Be Eased

On July 23, 2013, the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association sent a joint letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for greater flexibility in the requirements of the meaningful use program, HealthLeaders Media reports (Commins, HealthLeaders Media, 7/25).

Senate Committee Examines “Meaningful Use”; Panelists Call for Flexibility and Time

Meaningful Use

Health care providers and vendors told a U.S. Senate committee about ongoing challenges in electronic health record (EHR) adoption and argued the federal government should consider delaying the next phase of the “meaningful use” programs and allow flexibility in meeting program requirements. The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs provide incentives to providers that achieve “meaningful use” of EHR and impose penalties on those that do not.

Black Book Rankings: 2013 State of Replacement EHR Market Study

Black Book releases rankings of top EHR solutions

Black Book Rankings has released the "2013 State of Replacement EHR Market Study," the most recent in a series of Black Book™ strategic industry reports focused on the healthcare technology market. The study is a follow up assessment on the status of electronic health record users, all of which indicated deal-breaking dissatisfaction with the current vendor, termed the "Year of the Great EHR Switch" in a previous Black Book poll.

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Usability Testing of Electronic Health Record systems EHRs

User-Centered Design: Helping users become Effective, Efficient, and Satisfied

We recommend that EHR vendors follow the ISO 9241-11 standard. ISO-9241 Part 11: (1998) pertains to the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with Effectiveness (Task completion by users), Efficiency (Task on time) and Satisfaction (responded by user in term of experience) in a specified context of use (users, tasks, equipment & environments).

Summative testing

Meaningful Use and Usability testing of EHRs

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has released a set of new certification and meaningful use requirements for electronic health records (EHRs). These require that EHR vendors include evidence of user-centered design and user test results in their certification submission. To be able to obtain the ONC certification (and meaningful use funding for their customers) EHR vendors must follow a formal User Centered Design (UCD) process and perform summative usability testing on specific areas of the product.

ONC has a new certification mark!

ONC Certified HIT

The new mark for certified electronic health records technology was unveiled Wednesday and will appear on EHR products that have been certified by an ONC-Authorized Certification Body, indicating that the product meets the 2014 Edition Standards and Certification Criteria.

Eligible professionals and hospitals must demonstrate meaningful use of EHR technology that has been certified under the ONC Health Information Technology Certification Program to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive payments.

Healthcare Providers Aren't Happy With EHR Systems

The federal government is happy to point out that more than 50 percent of physicians and 80 percent of hospitals are using electronic health record (EHR) systems, with those users having received some $14.6 billion in meaningful use incentives initially allocated in the 2009 stimulus.

CMS releases updated quality measures for MU

CMS Meaningful Use

In an effort to align the clinical quality measures used within the EHR Incentive Program with the goals of CMS and the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Quality Strategy (NQS), and recommendations from the Health Information Technology Policy Committee, each clinical quality measure has been assessed against six domains based on the NQS’s six priorities.

A Doctors view on the lack of usability in EHR systems

We found an article at KevinMD written by a cardiologist named David Mokotoff.

This article is a great read for gaining the perspective of an doctor that has had to deal with a number of the issues (mostly usability based) with some of the EHR systems he has been required to use. His frustration with the status quo is evidence that things need to change. EHR Vendors need to understand their end-users and establish a User-centered design approach.

Is English the second language of medical documentation?

English only?  Perhaps not the best solution for EHRs

In a recent article written by the American College of Physicians, Yul Ejnes suggests that although English is the first language of Medicine, it has become the second language of EHRs.

"How and why did this happen? Most of it stems from the morphing of the medical record from a clinical tool to an audit and billing tool. The focus is no longer on capturing the patient’s history, examination, test results, and the physician’s thought process. Instead, today’s goal is to record as many things that were said or done as one can in order to justify the highest billing code, meet the performance measure, earn a high quality score, and lawyer-proof the record – and to do so in as little time as possible."

HCIT - The fastest growing occupation in the USA

More than 50,000 healthcare IT jobs have sprouted since passing the HITECH Act, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates they’ll grow by 20 percent from 2008 to 2018 – much faster than all remaining US occupations per industry. A Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report reflecting the doubling of EHR adoption among physicians in two years from 17 to 34 percent. The rate of adoption among primary care doctors also increased significantly, from 20 to 39 percent.

EHR companies partnering with outside software developers

EHR Vendors need Usability Help, not outside developers!

They should be also looking for usability help, not outside engineering-centric developers!

EHR vendors: Contact Us!

Electronic health record (EHR) companies are beginning to partner with outside software developers to help them ramp up new applications for care management, population health management and patient engagement. Athenahealth, Allscripts, and eClinicalWorks (eCW) all are placing big bets on this approach, although eCW is tilting more toward mobile health apps than the other two vendors are.

Electronic Health Records User Satisfaction Falls 12 Percent

American College of Physicians

Medical News reported the results of a report from the American College of Physicians indicating “satisfaction and usability ratings for certified electronic health records (EHRs) have decreased since 2010 among clinicians across a range of indicators.” The announcement was made at the 2013 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference & Exhibition. According to Michael S.

Debunking 10 IT Usability Misconceptions in Health Care

The usability of health and other information technology systems has long been a challenge.

And there are a number of common misconceptions as to why the problem persists, according to Nancy Staggers, RN, a professor of Informatics at the University of Maryland’s School of Nursing, and Lorraine Chapman, Director of Use Experience Research at Macadamian Technologies, a user experience design and software development firm that does work in the health care field.

Usability Starts with U

Usability is "the extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use" [ISO9241]. Usability represents an important yet often overlooked factor impacting the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health record (EHR) systems. Without usable systems, doctors, medical technicians, nurses, administrative staff, consumers, and other users cannot gain the potential benefits of features and functions of EHR systems.

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