CMS Announces New Name for EHR Initiatives: Promoting Interoperability Programs

CMS Changes Name of the EHR Incentive Programs and Advancing Care Information to “Promoting Interoperability”

To continue their commitment to promoting and prioritizing interoperability of health care data, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is overhauling and streamlining the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs for hospitals as well as for the Advancing Care Information performance category of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), which is one track of the Quality Payment Program.

U.S. Access Board Launches YouTube Channel

Image of You Tube Channel

The U.S. Access Board has launched its own channel on YouTube to further share and disseminate information. It features a message from Executive Director David M. Capozzi on the Board's mission and the services it provides to the public. Animations on accessibility that the Board has developed as part of its online guide to the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards are also available on the channel.

Report Available on Ensuring the Safety and Effectiveness of Laboratory Data in Electronic Health Record Systems

Electronic health record (EHR) systems can improve patient care by making it easier to collect, share, and interpret patient data. However, variations in EHR system design, functionality, and ability to exchange data accurately (interoperability) can cause preventable patient safety risks. The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has raised concerns regarding the usability and interoperability of laboratory data in EHR systems. In response, in July 2012, CDC convened the Communication in Informatics Workgroup.

User-Centered Design or Design Thinking for Healthcare IT

The usability (or lack thereof) of Healthcare IT has been in the news a lot again.

This time a research report published by JAMA (Howe JL ; Adams KT ; Hettinger AZ; et al. Electronic health record usability issues and potential contribution to patient harm. JAMA. 2018; 319: 1276-1278) researchers analyzed voluntary error reports associated with Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems and found that problems with EHR usability may have directly resulted in patient harm.

The ONC Guide to Getting & Using Your Health Records!

You have a right to your health record

According to federal law, you have a right to see and get a copy of your health record from most health insurance plans and health care providers, including clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, labs, and nursing homes.

Yet it can be a real challenge to get your health record if you’ve been cared for by multiple doctors in multiple places. Each one may have a different process for asking for and getting your record.

ONC Usability Change Package Resource & Webinar Recording

ONC Usability Change Package Resource & Webinar Recording

ONC hosted a webinar on March 1 that previewed a new ONC-sponsored resource, the Usability Change Package (UCP.) This resource helps health IT end users in hospital settings identify usability challenges, adapt their systems to improve the usability of their systems, and assess the impact of these system changes.

Violent video games, Explicit lyrics and the Usability of Health IT

Back in the 1980s Tipper Gore. Susan Baker, and several others created the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) with the intent of increasing parental control over the access of children to music deemed to have violent, drug-related or sexual themes. They used their influence as “Washington Wifes” to push for regulation of the music industry. By 1985, 19 record companies agreed to put "Parental Guidance: Explicit Lyrics" labels on albums to warn consumers of explicit lyrical content.

Should we start-up the Healthcare Usability Association?

A large number of organizations and medical providers have gotten together to do what the government should be doing, but is not. Those organizations are:

ECRI Institute,
The Alliance for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (AQIPS),
The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC),
The Pew Charitable Trusts

They all talk about usability, but there are no usability in healthcare organizations. So UX experts have little voice.

We should build up a community of interest that can have a voice and can influence policy. We need your particiption.

ONC's preview of the Usability Change Package

ONC will be hosting a webinar that previews a new ONC-sponsored resource, the Usability Change Package (UCP). The UCP helps health IT end users in hospital settings identify usability challenges, adapt their systems to improve the usability of their systems, and assess the impact of these system changes.

This resource will be made available in the future on the Health IT Playbook. Presenters will provide an overview of the UCP, the process used to develop it, and the gaps and future considerations that were uncovered during development.

EHRA publishes free personas to help developers consider #EHR #usability design from a variety of end-user perspectives

Personas enable clear understanding of the different users of a product and their goals, problems and backgrounds. The goals help to move the focus away from features onto what users are actually trying to accomplish and what users will ultimately use to evaluate the product. The problems highlight pain points and conflicts and offer opportunities for innovation and delighting users. The personas provide a way to summarize and communicate research.

Cigarette smoking and the ROI of Design Thinking (or User Experience)

Doctor Smoking

Analogies have been a major part of how we explain usability, user experience and/or design thinking to audiences and clients (and potential clients). Many of these analogies involve automotive technology ( see e.g. Crash-test dummies and the Usability of EHRs http://www.theusabilitypeople.com/thought_leadership/crash-test-dummies-... ).

World Usability Day - Inclusion through User Experience- November 9, 2017

World Usability Day

Inclusion through User Experience

The world is changing and the climate of well-balanced and open society is not as prevalent as many of us would like. Technology is developing alongside new political changes. This year, 2017 is a pivotal moment in history and we can help shape the course of events by the work we do.

National Health IT Week Event -- October 3, 2017 | 10am - 12pm ET

National Health IT Week Event -- October 3, 2017 | 10am - 12pm ET

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Hubert H. Humphrey Building - Great Hall
200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC

Join ONC for two panels of distinguished public and private sector partners highlighting advancements in interoperability and usability. This event will be hosted by Principal Deputy National Coordinator for Health IT Genevieve Morris and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Technology Reform John Fleming, MD.

Joint Commission Introduces New Accreditation Standards for Telehealth Services

The Joint Commission has proposed changes to its accreditation standards to account for direct-to-patient telehealth services. The new standards will apply to Joint Commission-accredited hospitals and ambulatory health care organizations offering direct-to-patient telehealth services. Accredited hospitals and organizations, as well as entrepreneurial telemedicine companies that contract with such hospitals, should be mindful of these proposed rule changes and how they will affect their telehealth services and operations.

Safety-enhanced Design evaluations for ONC 2015 Edition Certification

In a public comment on the certification process, Drummond (one of the ONC ATCB's) stated that

"...the usability test effort is not a small undertaking for EHR vendors. In fact, it {is} essentially one of the most difficult criteria to complete."



For expert Usability evaluations of your companies EHR: Contact The Usability People



Usability reports produced by The Usability People adhere to the NISTIR 7742 CCIF format suitable for submission to an ONC-ACB. We can also provide a set of prioritized, detailed, and actionable feedback that you can take directly to your design and development teams for implementation.

MIPS/MACRA Final Rule: A carrot is better than a stick!

With the January 2018 deadline fast approaching and very few EHRs certified for the ONC 2015 Edition Certification, Doctors will get a one year extension so that they can continue to use 2014 edition of EHRs into next year. Instead of getting a 25 percent reduction in their reimbursement payment, those that are using a 2015 edition certified EHR will gain a 10 percent bonus in the meaningful use part of their MIPS payments. Full details are posted in the Federal Register. This post will be updated when we get a chance to read the 1000+ page document.

Usability quote from Health DataPalooza

The first Health Datapalooza of the Trump era was pretty reassuring for people in the health IT community:

Those feelings of relief are mostly down to HHS Secretary Tom Price. The primary takeaway is Price’s commitment to simplify reporting and usability burdens in EHRs.

“The promise of health IT is so great, but we must recognize that a one-size-fits-all, inflexible system for our nation’s patients and physicians simply will not work,” he said, adding that physicians were taking too much time “tapping on screens and keyboards rather than helping patients.”

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