NIST Workshop to Focus on EHR Usability

By Frank Irving
09:54 AM

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will host an EHR usability workshop June 7 at the agency’s Gaithersburg, Md., campus. NIST said the free workshop will bring together personnel from industry, government, academia and the healthcare provider sector “to identify models and methods for collaborating to improve the usability of EHR systems.”

NIST, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, provides guidance to the public and private sectors in the development of health IT usability standards and measures. NIST shares best practices on EHR usability and gathers technical feedback toward development of EHR usability evaluation methods.
Usability assesses how easy EHR systems are to learn and operate, while maximizing efficiency. A 2009 HIMSS report identified usability as possibly the most important factor preventing widespread adoption of EHRs in clinical settings. The report also noted that usability has a strong, often direct relationship with clinical productivity, user satisfaction, lower error rates and less user fatigue.
The June 7 event will examine:
  • What facets of usability should be measured?
  • What measurement methods and protocols should be used?
  • What are some of the challenges to rigorous measurement and how can they be addressed?
  • How can measurement results stimulate a market and support improved usability?

The session format will be a combination of presentations, panels and interactive small group discussions.

Frank Irving blogs regularly at