EHR Usability Will Be Part of Meaningful Use Stage 2 – #HIMSS11

Posted on February 20, 2011 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

In probably the biggest news of the day at HIMSS, we got the following tweet spreading quickly through the Twittersphere:

There you have it. Word out of ONC is that meaningful use stage 2 will include some form of EHR usability. How that will be, I don’t think even ONC knows. Although, I’m sure they’ll consider looking at the EHR usability that’s already in CCHIT.

What I don’t understand is why they would do this. First, it should be part of the EHR certification and not meaningful use (maybe it was a mistweet). Why would ONC want to measure an EHR’s usability during meaningful use? That’s too late, no? Although, maybe it’s just ONC trying to collect data for other doctors that will select an EHR later? I don’t understand it.

Plus, let’s look at the EHR usability that’s been done by CCHIT. Has it really improved the usability of EHR systems?

I asked someone at HIMSS this question, and they said something like, “Of course not.”

We all want the EHR software to be usable. I just don’t understand how ONC adding it to meaningful use stage 2 will help achieve that goal.’s HIMSS11 coverage is sponsored by Practice Fusion, provider of the free, web-based Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system used by over 70,000 healthcare providers in the US.