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ONC and HHS draft strategy to improve EHR user experience

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A report required by the 21st Century Cures Act has been published by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (IT). The report, Strategy on Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs, is focused on improving the use of electronic health records (EHRs) and reducing the regulatory burdens placed on physicians.

ONC acknowledges that “clinicians and other health care providers point to the implementation, use, and regulation of health IT and the EHR as a key support tool for care delivery” but that there are also challenges involved. The organization indicates it has “heard from health care providers, practice managers, and hospitals that they experience challenges with EHR system design and the regulatory and administrative burdens associated with the use of EHRs during care delivery, required reporting activities, and documentation of claims for payment.”

The report lays out a series of strategies and recommendations that HHS is considering taking to mitigate EHR-related burden for health care providers, including strategies for EHR Reporting and Public Health Reporting. Strategies outlined for Clinical Documentation and Health IT Usability are also included in the report:

Clinical Documentation Strategies

Strategy 1: Reduce regulatory burden around documentation requirements for patient visits.

Strategy 2: Continue to partner with clinical stakeholders to encourage adoption of best practices related to documentation requirements.

Strategy 3: Leverage health IT to standardize data and processes around ordering services and related prior authorization processes

Health IT Usability Strategies

Strategy 1: Improve usability through better alignment of EHRs with clinical workflow; improve decision making and documentation tools.

Strategy 2: Promote user interface optimization in health IT that will improve the efficiency, experience, and end user satisfaction.

Strategy 3: Promote harmonization surrounding clinical content contained in health IT to reduce burden.

Strategy 4: Improve health IT usability by promoting the importance of implementation decisions for clinician efficiency, satisfaction, and lowered burden.

ONC Health IT is only accepting comments on the report electronically, at:

Comment attachments should be in Microsoft Word, Excel, or Adobe PDF. The deadline for comment submission is 11:59 p.m. E.T. on January 28, 2019. ONC will review, analyze, and post on their website all public comments that are received by 11:59 p.m. E.T. on January 28, 2019.