10 ways to Improve EHR Safety and Quality via Usability

An American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Task Force on Usability made 10 recommendations to improve safety and quality by enhancing the usability of electronic health records. These recommendations were recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

The AMIA task force examined the literature and vendor experiences with EHR design and implementation and made the recommendations across four major areas: human factors health information technology research, health IT policy, industry and the clinician end-user of EHR software.

Human factors health IT research
1. Prioritize standardized use cases.
2. Develop a core set of measures for adverse events related to health IT use.
3. Research and promote best practices for safe implementation of EHR.

Health IT policy
4. Standardization and interoperability across EHR systems should take account of usability concerns.
5. Establish an adverse event reporting system for health IT and voluntary health IT event reporting.
6. Develop and disseminate an educational campaign on the safe and effective use of EHR.

7. Develop a common user interface style guide for select EHR functionalities.
8. Perform formal usability assessments on patient-safety sensitive EHR functionalities.

Clinical end-user
9. Adopt best practices for EHR system implementation and ongoing management.
10. Monitor how IT systems are used and report IT-related adverse events.

For more on these recommendations see: http://bit.ly/14vr3V2

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