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EHR usability Gap - Specified Context of Use

The efficient and effective use of Electronic Health Records are essential, as these systems are increasingly becoming a central tool for patient care.

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act provided providers with a significant financial incentive to increase the adoption and use of EHRs. EHR vendors were required to conduct and report on a summative usability evaluation of their system as part of the Stage 2 Meaningful Use program (The ONC 2014 Edition Certification) and beyond. However, a recent report funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), identified several “issues” with the certified EHR vendors in the processes, practices and use of standards and best practices with regard to usability and human factors.

Auto bumpers and HealthIT Interoperability

Ralph Nadar's book Unsafe At Any Speed raised public awareness of some of the safety problems associated with the Chevrolet Corvair.  Nadar’s book, however, was also an indictment of the auto industry as a whole and served as a lightning rod for legislation establishing what would eventually become the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

These two industries, HealthIT and automobiles have quite a lot in common including that they are both highly regulated.  These regulations exist because in both industries poor design can lead to safety issues and the possible death of their user’s.

ONC Final Rule for 2015 Certification Criteria: Safety-enhanced design

The final rule for the ONC 2015 certification has been released.

The 550+ page document identifies a number of changes from the previously published proposed rule in direct response to a number of comments provided to ONC.

Crash test dummies and The Usability of Electronic Health Records

EHR vendors are quick to say that the 2015 Edition ONC Certification for Safety-enhanced Design are too burdensome, that they are too difficult to complete, and they are not necessary.

See for example http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/ehr-vendors-uneasy-about-meaningful... ) Many EHR vendors would say let market forces take over and the Health IT industry will heal itself.

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