HIMSS Responds to Draft Guidance on Testing EHR Usability

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society has submitted comments (pdf) on the National Institute of Standards and Technology's draft guidance on "Technical Evaluation, Testing and Validation of the Usability of Electronic Health Records."

The draft guidance outlined three steps for evaluating the usability of EHR user interfaces: first, conducting a usability/human factors analysis of the application during EHR user interface development; second, performing an expert review and analysis of the EHR user interface after it is designed and developed; and third, testing the EHR user interface with users.

HIMSS' comments are on these three steps:
1. Usability analysis. HIMSS suggested that EHR usability protocols expand to focus on the efficiency, effectiveness, ease of use and user satisfaction of the EHR.
2. Expert review/analysis. HIMSS suggested the expert review include individuals with practical clinical experience to ensure they are contributing expertise at an early stage of the development process.
3. User testing. HIMSS suggested testing should not be done in isolation and should represent typical care scenarios by including factors such as interruptions, medical emergencies and competing workflow and time pressures.

Related Articles on EHR Usability:

National Institute of Standards and Technology Releases Draft on Testing EHR Usability
Institute of Medicine Makes 10 Recommendations for Patient Safety in Health IT

Report: Physicians Need More EHR Training


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