National Healthcare Initiative and Usability

Big Challenges Await Health Records Transition

David Blumenthal (the new National Coordinator for Health IT) and Mark Leavitt (the chair of their certification commission) are suggesting in the Wall Street Journal (4/22/2009) that user experience be included in the certification criteria for electronic health records (EHRs) that will be eligible for $17 billion in federal incentive payments.

“The Certification Commission for Healthcare IT currently certifies EHR systems now available on the market, based on whether they are interoperable and have certain functions. However, Blumenthal said that having certain functions is not enough. He added, ‘We need to ensure that physicians can actually use it.’ CCHIT Chair Mark Leavitt said the group is considering a revision of the certification criteria to include users’ experiences.”

I’ve co-founded an medical software EMR company and have been a usability architect with UnitedHealth Group for the past 5 years. The national initiative is a good thing, but building usable healthcare software isn’t easy, never mind trying to certify or regulate healthcare software usability.

Your thoughts?

View article:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124027664223937475.html

2 Responses to National Healthcare Initiative and Usability

  1. […] Now certifying usability is virtually impossible for a whole host of reasons and worse, traveling down such a path would detrimentally impact innovation, the last thing we need in this market so lacking in such within HIT. And no, such a certification process will have absolutely no effect on adoption of EHRs. Adoption will occur when there is sufficient reason (value) to adopt. […]

  2. […] certifying usability is virtually impossible for a whole host of reasons and worse, traveling down such a path would […]

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