On July 15, HIStalk published a Readers Write post from Dr. Tom Giannulli, MD, MS, and Chief Medical Information Officer at Kareo about the impact of Meaningful Use (MU) on electronic health record (EHR) design.
In Requirements Versus User Experience: The MU Design Impact on Today’s EHR Applications, Dr. Tom discusses how the requirements of Meaningful Use have impacted how vendors have approached design changes to their EHR products in the post MU world. “When the current EHR incentive programs emerged in 2009, EHR suppliers with existing products were faced with the challenge of meeting Meaningful Use (MU) requirements. It’s not easy to retrofit new functional requirements into an existing product, and it’s commonly understood many suppliers had to focus on achieving functionality requirements however possible given the potential impact of government incentives. The time-bound goal was simply to get X feature programmed in Y weeks so that version update or hot fix could be applied to meet customer certification timelines.”
As vendors work on certification for MU Stage 2, they are facing some of the same challenges, and Dr. Tom believes that the specificity of MU is part of the problem, “…the fact is that the specificity of MU and the rigorous testing don’t provide for the best user experience. Ironically, these really specific requirements—a number of which dictate the user experience to a large degree—are supposed to be creating improved usability when in fact they are detracting from user-friendless and improved workflow.”
One of the concerns Dr. Tom raises is that working to a goal based on government requirements instead of market factors, can reduce usability for physicians, and that some features that physicians want will have to wait until the MU requirements are met. He would prefer to have the development process be driven by the market, which why his development process for Kareo includes a lot of user feedback.
Read more of Dr. Tom’s insights in the full article.