Popular EHR Products Score Low on EHR Usability Framework

An evaluation framework jointly developed by the American Medical Association and MedStar Health’s National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare claims to identify a lack of EHR user-centered design and testing best practices among several of the most common EHR technologies.

The most glaring of evaluations concerns the ambulatory EHR designed by Epic Systems which scored 9 out of a possible 15 total points for its EHR usability processes.

As one of the architects of the EHR User-Centered Design Evaluation Framework warns, the findings do not represent the actual EHR usability of these EHR technologies.

The designers of the framework maintain that their work is an improvement on the “Low bar” set by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in its requirements for EHR usability and user-centered design as part of the EHR certification process.

“Physician experiences documented by the AMA demonstrate that most EHR systems fail to support effective and efficient clinical work, and continued issues with usability are a key factor driving low satisfaction with many EHR products,” AMA President Steven J. Stack, MD, stated.

“Our goal is to shine light on the low-bar of the certification process and how EHRs are designed and user-tested in order to drive improvements that respond to the urgent physician need for better designed EHR systems.”

The framework comprises eight usability principles culled from a much larger list required by ONC for the certified EHR technology required for the EHR Incentive Programs, including the user-centered design process, testing methodology, and testing results.

Source: EHR Intelligence

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Popular EHR Products Score Low on EHR Usability Framework