Usability Testing: 5 Strategies to Achieve Meaningful Use Stage 2 Certification


I was recently invited to join Lorraine Chapman and Anneliis Tosiine from Macadmian to be a guest contributor on a podcast about Meaningful Use Stage 2 usability testing. Lorraine and Anneliis are fellow HIMSS Usability Task Force members. The podcast discusses 5 strategies to employ when conducting usability testing for Stage 2 certification. Each of the five strategies stem from User-View’s and Macadamian’s experiences and best practices employed while supporting EHR vendors through the Safety Enhanced Design certification processes.

Usability Testing: 5 Strategies to Achieve Meaningful Use Stage 2 Certification

  1. Planning is Key
    • Obtain prompt access to the EHR that will be tested as part of summative testing. Use this access to familiarize the usability test team with the application.
    • Identify the most efficient click path and all alternative paths that can be used by end users to successfully complete tasks.
    • Work with expert users to identify the optimal completion time for each of the tasks used in the summative test session.
    • Plan for at least 4-6 weeks for a summative test when you have 2 -3 user groups.
  2. Determining Types and Number of Users
    • Start by identifying who your end users (or intended end users) are for specific usability test tasks.
    • Recruit end users who would do the task in the clinical world.
    • Determining number of participants for a summative test is driven by the User Centered Design process your team follows. Human factors best practice is 15 participants per user group are sufficient if you have been doing User Centered Design throughout design and development.
  3. Conducting Remote Usability Testing
    • Usability testing can include remote testing.
    • Remote usability testing (where the facilitator and the participant can be in different locations) can be a great way to reduce cost and expedite the recruiting and data collection process.
    • Keep in mind that if you choose to do remote usability testing, you will need a reliable web conferencing tool so you can view (and record) the sessions in real time.
  4. Importance of Risk Assessments
    • Avoid jumping right into summative testing with end users – do a risk assessment first.
    • Safety enhanced design requires a risk assessment both on the actual tasks/user interfaceassociated with the task you will carry out in your summative test and on the findings in yoursummative test report.
    • A goal of ONC and also for Human Factors / UX Specialists is to ensure the system protectsthe provider and the patient from any errors that might occur due to the user interface. The risk analysis will help identify and mitigate these kinds of problems.
  5. Preparing to Submit to ONC
    • In order to be considered for certification, teams must submit information from summative usability testing. As part of the summative test report, teams are to report the findings of the risk analysis of the use, tested performance, error rates, and satisfaction ratings. Teams are also required to report any critical use errors and specify how the product will rectify these errors. Critical use errors do not need to be reported if the product is redesigned, retested with another summative test, and retesting no longer finds the critical use error is present.
    • An objective, trained human factors researcher / UX specialist should be deeply involved in the preparation of the report for ONC. This is important because summative test reports for ONC will be released publically and you want to be sure that the study is represented accurately and the integrity of the study is maintained when it is shared with the industry.
    • NISTIR 7742 is an important resource to use for reporting.

Listen Now: Macadamian | Usability Testing: 5 Strategies to Achieve Meaningful Use Stage II Certification

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