Top five reasons the new Meaningful Use timeline will be good for EHR vendors

Usability test in progress.  Usability Consultants at the Usability People EHR Safety Enhanced Design

1. EHR Vendors will have more time to focus on their users.

a. 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.
b. We recommend that EHR vendors follow ISO-9241-11 and show evidence that their design process is focused upon efficiency, effectiveness, and satisfaction.

2. EHR vendors will have time to perform many iterations of user testing.

a. These early iterations are often called Formative testing.
b. We recommend that an Expert (Heuristic) review be performed before any of the more formal usability testing. (This is a cost-saving measure that can significantly reduce the number of development and testing iterations required and ultimately reduce the number of “Areas for improvement” presented in the final ONC submission.)

3. EHR vendors will have time to create more realistic tasks for their summative usability evaluations

a. For more information on the ONC Test Procedure for §170.314(g)(3) Safety-enhanced design see

4. Usability testing consultants will have more time to recruit the most appropriate study participants.

a. Recruiting the right participants is the foundation of effective user research.
b. Research results are only as good as the participants involved.
c. Representative, well-spoken, and thoughtful research participants can provide invaluable feedback.

5. More EHR vendors will be able to conduct and report on their usability using the NIST 7742 Customized Common Industry Format Template format during a 3-year time period than during a 2-year period.

a. Many EHR vendors are eager to achieve the “Complete EHR Ambulatory” certification from a certified ONC-ACB, such as Drummond, or InfoGuard (CCHIT is no longer certifying EHRs), 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.

There are currently fewer than 3,800 EHRs that have received Meaningful Use Stage 1 certification, but have not yet received Stage 2 certification. In preparing their submission many have discovered that they are missing the usability evaluation portion for the Safety-enhanced design criteria.

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

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

We recommend that you allow at least 3-4 weeks in your submission timeline for the preparation, conducting and reporting of a summative usability test for EHR Meaningful Use Stage 2 Certification.

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

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