FDA proposes ban on electrical stimulation devices intended to treat self-injurious or aggressive behavior

Shock therapy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently announced a proposal to ban electrical stimulation devices (ESDs) used for self-injurious or aggressive behavior because they present an unreasonable and substantial risk to public health that cannot be corrected or eliminated through changes to the labeling.


ONC Seeking Thoughts on How to Measure Interoperability

ONC has issued a request for information for your thoughts on how to measure interoperability. The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) sets an objective to achieve the widespread exchange of health information through the use of interoperable certified electronic health records and directs the Department of Health and Human Services to establish metrics in consultation with you – the health IT community – to see if that objective has been met.

Specifically, They are asking for input on:

AHRQ Announces Interest in Research on Health IT Safety

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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is seeking grant proposals to generate new knowledge on health IT safety.

AHRQ is interested in funding applications to conduct research on safe health IT practices specifically related to the design, implementation, usability, and safe use of health IT by all users, including nurses, physicians, patients, and caregivers.

SAVE THE DATE: May 31 – June 2, 2016 - ONC 2016 Annual Meeting

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT announced its sixth Annual Meeting will be held May 31 – June 2, 2016, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

The Annual Meeting is an opportunity for a wide array of public and private sector partners to discuss ways to leverage health IT to achieve better care, smarter spending, and healthier people.


ICDR publishes proceedings from the Accessibility and Usability in Health Information Technology: A Research & Action Conference

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The Interagency Committee on Disability Research (ICDR) has released the proceedings for “Accessibility and Usability in Health Information Technology: A Research & Action Conference to Empower People with Disabilities, Older Adults, and Caregivers”, held on September 17 – 18, 2015.

ONC and the Department of Health and Human Services announce the Provider User-Experience Challenge

The Provider User-Experience (UX) Challenge incents the development of applications that use open, standardized APIs to enable innovative ways for providers to interact with patient health data. This challenge will focus on demonstrating how data made accessible to apps through APIs can positively impact providers’ experience with EHRs by making clinical workflows more intuitive, specific to clinical specialty, and actionable.

The EHRA updates their code of conduct - Here is the section about Usability

Established in 2004, the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Association is comprised of companies that supply the vast majority of operational EHRs to physicians’ practices and hospitals across the United States. The EHR Association operates on the premise that the rapid, widespread adoption of EHRs will, as a key enabler of healthcare transformation, help improve the quality of patient care as well as the productivity and sustainability of our healthcare system.

Jean Piaget & the Usability of Healthcare Software

Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist and philosopher known for his epistemological studies with children. His theories of cognitive development helped pioneer the field of developmental psychology and influenced generations of elementary school curriculum.

The usability of healthcare software, or lack thereof, has been a topic of discussion for several years. The problem has become so widespread that the American Medical Association (AMA) has recently issued a framework for improving the ease of use of EHRs that, in part, includes the reduction of 'cognitive load.' Piaget’s theories can be applied to understanding some of the reasons why many EHRs are just too hard to use. They can provide guidance for finding ways to reduce the cognitive workload that so often hinders the user experience of EHR system

Usability in Healthcare impacts Patient Safety

“There is overwhelming evidence that usability of health IT systems impacts patient safety, and is crucial to adoption and effective use. There is a common misunderstanding that usability is only about basic screen design such as font size, color, and layout, but a better understanding is that usability needs to support the needs of clinicians of patients,”

- Raj Ratwani, Ph.D., scientific director at the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare at the Washington D.C.-based MedStar Health.

Mobile Health Tools Should Be Better Tailored To Meet Patient Needs

Mobile health devices must be designed to meet specific patient needs to improve user engagement, particularly among those with chronic illnesses, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, FierceMobileHealthcare reports (Mottl, FierceMobileHealthcare, 1/24