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Creating Usable Electronic Health Records (EHRs): A User-Centered Design Best Practices Workshop

Electronic health records (EHRs) have the potential of improving the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care; yet, human factors and usability are significant barriers to their successful adoption and widespread use.

On May 22, 2012, NIST and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) hosted a workshop on designing EHRs with a user-centered approach. Developers, designers, product managers and human factors professionals at electronic health record vendors learned how to enhance the usability of their systems by experiencing and examining innovative design processes. These processes were pulled from actual use cases focused on patient-centered tasks, which result in innovative, usable and safe products. Innovative design firm, IDEO, led a series of engaging, collaborative and thought-provoking sessions that inspired and educated EHR design teams.  

The workshop also offered technical guidance on the NIST Internal Report (NISTIR) NIST Guide to the Processes Approach for Improving the Usability of Electronic Health Records, the Customized Common Industry Format Template for Electronic Health Record Usability Testing, and Technical Evaluation, Testing and Validation of the Usability of Electronic Health Records (NISTIR 7804) as well as a discussion on NIST's ongoing research and development efforts in heath IT usability.


National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) / Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)

Agenda (PDF)


Usability Research and the Eye of the Beholder (PDF)
Chris Gibbons, M.D., M.P.H., Assistant Professor & Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute

Unique Usability Challenges in Designing EHRs Used for the Care of Children (PDF)
David Brick, M.D.,Village Pediatric Cardiology

Categorization of Critical User Interactions for Pediatric EHR (PDF)
Jiajie Zhang, Ph.D., Director, SHARPC, Interim Dean, University of Texas School of Biomedical Informatics at Houston

Demonstrating Usability and Safety- Role and Use of the Common Industry Format (CIF) and EUP (PDF)
Ben-Tzion Karsh, Ph.D., Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Wisconsin

Common Industry Format: What It Is What It Isn't and Why It's Useful (PDF)
Robert Schumacher,Ph.D., Managing Director, User Centric, Inc

Developing a Framework for Enhancing Health IT Usability (PDF)
Matthew Weinger, M.D., Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Tennessee Valley VA Healthcare System

Breakout Session #2 Presentations:

Observation Research (PDF) 

Formative Testing Methods (PDF)

Expert Review (PDF)

Horsky Ethnographic Method (PDF)

Horsky Summative Analyses (PDF)

Room Rate: $125

Holiday In Gaithersburg

Two Montgomery Village Avenue

Gaithersburg, MD 20879

Phone: (301) 948-8900 or (800)-HOLIDAY

Created April 25, 2012, Updated May 13, 2016