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July Workshop Devoted to Improving Usability of Health Care IT

For Immediate Release: May 25, 2010

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Contact: Ben Stein

Improving the ease of use of information systems for the health care industry could significantly facilitate the adoption of technology that has great potential to improve the quality of health care while reducing costs. The goal is to allow medical professionals interact with health care information technology quickly and easily to support their primary tasks rather than complicate them. Along the way, steps must be taken to ensure that health IT systems are accessible to people with disabilities.

Toward these ends, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will be hosting a one-day workshop on improving the usability—ease of use—of health IT. Co-sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the workshop will take place on July, 13, 2010, at the NIST Gaithersburg campus.

The goal of the workshop is to promote collaboration in health IT usability among federal agencies, industry, academia and others. Attendees will discuss ways to prioritize, align and coordinate short-, medium-, and long-term strategies and tactics to improve the usability of electronic health records (EHRs). Specific objectives of the workshop will be to establish an immediate-term set of actions to inform the national initiative to drive the adoption and meaningful use of EHRs; develop a strategic approach to measure and assess the use of EHRs and the impact of usability on their adoption and innovation; develop strategies to drive best practices and innovation in health care IT; and inspire follow-on activities in health care IT usability.

Information and registration for the conference can be found at www.nist.gov/itl/usability_hit.cfm. On-line registration will end at 5 p.m. Eastern time on July 6, 2010.