IPPS: Ambiguous Measures Won’t Reduce Burden

By Sasha TerMaat
Co-Chair, EHRA Executive Committee

man holding three white medication pills

The final 2019 IPPS rule included changes to the Promoting Interoperability/ Meaningful Use program beginning January 1, 2019. Disappointingly, with only six weeks between the close of the public comment period for the proposed rule in late June and the publication of the final rule in early August, CMS’ rushed process and failure to fully consider stakeholder comments (including EHRA’s) led to a rule filled with measures that will be unworkable, inefficient, and onerous.

In a previous blog we delved into PDMP query as just one of the measures where EHR developers anticipate challenges. In that case it’s due to differing levels of PDMP integration with CEHRT and inconsistent references within the rule about whether the query needs to be made via CEHRT, along with other areas in which the measure is ambiguous.  

In this blog post, let’s look at the reasons we’re concerned about a different measure, this one related to opioid treatment agreements.

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Coming Soon: Guide to Implementing CDC Opioid Rx Guidelines Within the EHR

By the Clinical Impact Subgroup, 
EHRA Opioid Crisis Task Force

CDC opioid guide image
During
National Health IT Week, we celebrate and take pride in the value that health information and technology has brought to patients and their healthcare providers. We also look ahead to new benefits that health IT can bring.

EHRA is committed to bringing together forward-looking experts from among our 34 member companies to collaborate on solving industry challenges. In 2018, we formed an Opioid Crisis Task Force to research and provide recommendations on ways EHR technology can help with solving the complex puzzle of the opioid crisis.   (more…)

Final IPPS Rule Ignores EHR Developer Concerns–Includes Impossible Measures, Will Lead to Increased Clinician Burden

By Sasha TerMaat
EHRA Vice Chair

IPPS blogOn August 2, 2018, CMS published the 2600-page pre-publication version of the 2019 IPPS Final Rule. EHRA members have begun digging into the Promoting Interoperability/Meaningful Use program, hoping to see changes based on their public comments on the proposed rule released in May. While we’re glad to see the requirement for 2015 CEHRT in 2019 confirmed, overall we’re disappointed that CMS failed to respond to many of EHRA’s comments as well as other stakeholder feedback.

In releasing the final rule less than six weeks after the public comment period closed (during which it received 1,058 comments), CMS appears to have rushed what should have been a thoughtful process. Several measures will be infeasible to program. Other measures will result in additional burden on clinicians, solely for the purpose of measurement rather than improved patient care. (more…)

Introducing the EHRA Persona Library

By Emily Richmond and Tammy Coutts
Chair and Vice Chair, EHRA Clinician Experience Workgroup

Developing a deep understanding of users and their surrounding environment is an important first step in the process of designing usable, safe and effective products. Documenting the who, why and how of individual users and the scenarios they face as part of normal (and abnormal) workflows can take the form of a persona, representing a real user based on qualitative and quantitative research and first-person experience. Personas enable clear understanding of the different users of a product and their goals, problems and backgrounds, cultivating empathy within a development team for who their users really are.

EHRA is pleased to introduce the EHRA Persona Library, created by the EHRA Clinician Experience Workgroup using the input of last year’s Usability Summit participants as a starting point. The library launched with 11 persona templates—ranging from Hospitalist to Family Caregiver to Medical Assistant—with plans to add additional personas in the future. (more…)

HIMSS18: Listening, Learning, Leading

IMG_6591EHRA member companies were out in force at HIMSS18 in Las Vegas, and not just in booths on the exhibit floor.

In a small conference room on the 4th floor of the Sands Convention Center, EHRA volunteer executives were meeting with stakeholder groups to discuss how EHRs can be optimized to improve usability, interoperability, and patient safety. We listened, we asked questions, and we shared our perspectives on the challenges and what the next steps could be.

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How Consistency in EHR Design Can Contribute to Patient Safety

By Emily Richmond and Tammy Coutts, Chair and Vice Chair, EHRA Clinician Experience Workgroup

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Anyone who switches frequently between a Mac and a PC knows the pain of inconsistency. The OK and Cancel buttons are in different places, the menus are in different locations, and there are even differences in the way you close a screen or program. These inconsistencies, while seemingly trivial, can contribute to a user’s “cognitive load,” which is the thing that makes you feel fuzzy and slow when you’re navigating a screen that doesn’t fit your mental model.

As system designers, electronic health record (EHR) developers operate in the same way as the designers of other systems–they work closely with users to understand their needs and the context of their use, and they strive to create designs that are straightforward, simple to understand, and a joy to use. However, despite this shared dedication to delivering a high quality product, EHR products from different companies don’t always present solutions to those problems in the same way. The result could be that systems that were designed in isolation to reduce cognitive load might end up contributing to it when a user must use multiple platforms to complete their daily tasks.

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