Usability of Health Information Technology (HIT)
Our June 20 meeting was held at Teqcorner in McLean, VA and focused on the Usability of Health Information Technology (HIT), as a vital component of our multi-billion dollar, national strategy to transform health care delivery.
The Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Care Record (EHR) Incentive Programs provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals (CAHs) as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. A wide range of advocacy groups, including the AMA and HIMSS, have noted that the poor usability of some EHRs for a number of tasks has delayed adoption and produced dissatisfaction for many clinicians. Further, the challengingly tight implementation timelines have led most organizations to defer purchase and implementation of more refined technology, requiring providers to use awkward and clumsy ways to get some of their work done.
Our primary speaker was Dr. Joseph Bormel, a former Medical Director of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) who served as program officer over the final year of a $15M federal research portfolio directed at understanding and improving HIT usability. Dr. Bormel’s presentation, entitled "Morphine, Rum and Magic,” highlighted the key factors, accomplishments and opportunities that improve the usability of HIT.
We also had a broader discussion of how the Meaningful Use program is faring across the country, as it struggles to maintain supporters and enthusiasts due to various problems and confusions within the provider and vendor communities.