A task force of the American Medical Informatics Association that studied improving the usability of electronic health records has published its findings along with 10 recommendations for new initiatives, many sponsored by the government, in four categories:

Human factors: Prioritize and standardize use cases to better understand human factors in assessing EHR usability, develop standard performance measures for the use cases, and research and promote best practices for safe implementation of EHRs.

Policies to lay a sound evidence base: ONC’s Standards and Interoperability Framework should include usability considerations for patient-sensitive functions, a voluntary adverse event reporting system should be established, and an educational campaign launched on the safe and effective use of EHRs.

EHR industry recommendations: Develop a common user interface style guide for select EHR functionalities, and perform formal usability assessments on patient-safety sensitive EHR functions.

Clinical end-user recommendations: Adopt best practices for EHR system implementation and ongoing management, and monitor how I.T. systems are used and report related adverse events.

The task force report and recommendations are available here.

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