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:

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

"Recognizing that patient safety is a shared responsibility among all stakeholders in an increasingly health IT-enabled, learning healthcare system:

We are committed to product design, development, and deployment in support of patient safety. We will utilize such approaches as quality management systems (QMS) and user-centered design methodologies, and use recognized standards and guidelines."

The terms User-centered design (UCD), Usability, and User eXperience (UX) have been used over the years to describe the work of the software professionals that specialize in the human-computer interaction. "Software Human Factors" is the field of study that applies the methodologies of Human performance and ergonomics to software. Instead of trying to design objects that work with the physical attributes of the human bodies, experts in Usability and User-centered design virtual interactions that work with the mental capabilities of human minds.

The newly revamped website is an excellent resource for those who are interested in gaining an understanding of the theories, tools and methodologies that are essential for transforming your organization into one that promotes UCD--as required by the stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements. For more information, or to contact a usability professional we suggest you reach out to out partner organization: The Usability People.

For a list of the 2013 top 100 EHR vendors see:

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

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