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EHR Usability & Patient Safety Roundtable


In its recent report "Health IT and Patient Safety," the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies noted that it is important to recognize that the EHR products are not used in isolation. In looking for ways to reduce the likelihood that any given patient will experience an adverse health event, safety analysis should not look for a single "root cause" of a problem, but rather should consider the system as a whole.  Creating safer systems begins with user-centered design principles and includes adequate testing with a reasonable set of representative users and quality assurance assessments. Designers and users of Health IT should work together to develop, implement, optimize, and maintain Health IT products. Proactive steps must be taken to ensure that Health IT is developed and implemented with safety as a primary focus.

ONC recently released the "Health Information Technology Patient Safety Action and Surveillance Plan" which calls for the development for a "Culture of Safety Related Health IT" in part by addressing " in the development of Health IT products." In addition, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently released its report entitled "Technical Evaluation, Testing, and Validation of the Usability of Electronic Health Records (NISTIR 7804)." This report includes the EHR Usability-Patient Safety Framework which details the link between EHR usability and patient outcomes. Given these and other recent developments drawing attention to the relationship between EHR usability and patient safety, the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, a global leader in patient safety research, has agreed to host this EHR Usability & Patient Safety Roundtable in partnership with NIST and ONC.

Purpose of the Roundtable  

Initiate collaborative discussion between ONC, NIST, the EHR developer community, and other stakeholders with the objective of enhancing patient safety through EHR design.

Goals of the Roundtable

- Discuss the role and current work of collaborative partners (ONC, NIST, EHR developers, academia) in patient safety & EHR design/implementation.

- Understand partner concerns and challenges, particularly those of EHR developers.

- Identify actionable first steps for creating a roadmap to achieve improved patient safety through EHR design. Presentations


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)/The Johns Hopkins University/Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality

Created April 26, 2013, Updated May 13, 2016