Enhancing patient safety and quality of care by improving the usability of electronic health record systems: recommendations from AMIA

J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2013 Jun;20(e1):e2-8. doi: 10.1136/amiajnl-2012-001458. Epub 2013 Jan 25.


In response to mounting evidence that use of electronic medical record systems may cause unintended consequences, and even patient harm, the AMIA Board of Directors convened a Task Force on Usability to examine evidence from the literature and make recommendations. This task force was composed of representatives from both academic settings and vendors of electronic health record (EHR) systems. After a careful review of the literature and of vendor experiences with EHR design and implementation, the task force developed 10 recommendations in four areas: (1) human factors health information technology (IT) research, (2) health IT policy, (3) industry recommendations, and (4) recommendations for the clinician end-user of EHR software. These AMIA recommendations are intended to stimulate informed debate, provide a plan to increase understanding of the impact of usability on the effective use of health IT, and lead to safer and higher quality care with the adoption of useful and usable EHR systems.

Keywords: Clinical Informatics; Electronic Health Records; Health Information Technology; Human Factors; Medical Error; Usability.

Publication types

  • Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Commerce / standards
  • Health Policy
  • Humans
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control
  • Medical Informatics
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized / standards*
  • Patient Safety*
  • Societies, Medical
  • United States
  • User-Computer Interface