Meaningful Use Stage 2 is Here! Safety-Enhanced Design testing takes time!

ONC Meaningful Use Certification logo 2014 Edition

CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) have established standards and certification criteria that EHRs must use in order to successfully capture and calculate objectives for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use. These new standards and certification criteria now in effect.

Update: Select this link for information on the recently released final rule and ONC 2015 certification (required for the MIPS/MACRA incentives)

Many EHR vendors are eager to achieve the certification process from a certified ONC-ATCB, authorized to conduct complete and modular EHR testing and certification in accordance with the applicable certification criteria adopted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

For more information about certified EHRs and the 2014 standards and certification criteria, please visit ONC’s 2014 Certification Programs and Policy page:

To be able to obtain the ONC certification (and meaningful use funding for their clients) EHR vendors must follow a formal User Centered Design (UCD) process and perform and report summative usability tests of specific areas of their EHR product to one of the following ONC-ATCB's:

• Surescripts LLC – Arlington, VA
• ICSA Labs – Mechanicsburg, PA
• SLI Global Solutions – Denver, CO
• InfoGard Laboratories, Inc. – San Luis Obispo, CA
• Drummond Group, Inc. (DGI) – Austin, TX

We often hear from EHR vendors that have reached out to the certification bodies, and are currently preparing their submission. In preparing their submission they have discovered that they are missing the usability evaluation portion for the Safety-enhanced design criteria. (For more information on the ONC Test Procedure for §170.314(g)(3) Safety-enhanced design see )

Usability testing cannot happen overnight, and it is important that you reach out to your usability partner early so that the required testing can be completed in time for your appointment with the ONC-ACB.

We recommend that you allow at least 2-3 weeks in your submission timeline for the preparation, conducting and reporting of a summative usability test for EHR 2014 Certification.

You may want to do some formative testing in advance of the ONC tests. See our popular blog post--Please don't air our dirty laundry--

For more information on "Conducting Usability Evaluations for Meaning Use Stage 2 Funding" see the archives of our presentation at the 2nd annual meeting of OSEHRA on September 6th at Bethesda North Marriott Conference Center.

We presented an enhanced version of this presentation at the 23rd WEDI conference on May 12, 2014 in Hollywood, CA-- see

Our usability reports adhere to the NISTIR 7742 CCIF format and can also provide a "Supplemental Findings Report" that contains a set of prioritized, detailed, and actionable feedback that you can take directly to your design and development teams for implementation (not included in the submission to the ACB).

For expert usability evaluations of your companies EHR: Contact The Usability People

The Usability People work with you on improving the Usability of Healthcare IT.

The Usability People
Together we may save a life! #SafeHealthIT