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.