At HIMSS, Dr. Charles Friedman, Chief Scientist at ONC announced that Usability would be included in Stage 2 of Meaningful Use. This became the tweet heard 'round the floor of the show. As if the challenges of Meaningful Use Stage 2 timing were not already enough, this seemed to be yet another late-breaking hurdle.
Dr. Friedman and representatives from NIST spoke to the HIMSS EHR Association this afternoon to talk to us about what ONC intends. The slides he presented are below. These are mostly a condensed version of what he presented at HIMSS.
NIST will be hosting a workshop in July focused on the topic of usability in Healthcare IT. You can also expect that there will be upcoming opportunities for testimony and discussion in various advisory committee venues on this topic. When I asked the inevitable question about timelines for Usability testing given existing tensions around stage 2 deadlines, I got back an interesting answer. Dr. Friedman was not specific and essentially indicated that we'll all be seeing how this works out as it evolves. It seemed to me to indicate that ONC might have some flexibility around the usability testing requirements for Stage 2, but I wouldn't place any bets on that.