[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 30 (Tuesday, February 14, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Page 8217]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-3415]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Institute of Standards and Technology

[Docket No. 120123059-2058-01]


Evaluating the Usability of Electronic Health Record (EHR) 
Systems

AGENCY: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: NIST is soliciting interest in supplying electronic health 
record (EHR) systems for use by NIST in research to develop a framework 
for assessing the usability of health information technology (HIT) 
systems, EHRs in particular, and performance-oriented user interface 
design guidelines for EHRs. Manufacturers interested in participating 
in this research will be asked to execute a Letter of Understanding. 
Interested parties are invited to contact NIST for information 
regarding participation, Letters of Understanding and shipping 
information.

DATES: Manufacturers who wish to participate in the program must submit 
a request and an executed Letter of Understanding by 5 p.m. Eastern 
Standard Time on March 15, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Letters of Understanding may be obtained from and should be 
submitted to Svetlana Lowry, National Institute of Standards and 
Technology, Information Access Division, Building 225, Room A232, 100 
Bureau Drive, Mail Stop 8940, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8940. Letters of 
Understanding may be faxed to: Svetlana Lowry at (301) 975-5287.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information, you may 
telephone Svetlana Lowry at (301) 975-4995, or email: 
svetlana.lowry@nist.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The National Institute of Standards and 
Technology (NIST) will be conducting research to support the 
development of procedures for measuring and evaluating the usability of 
health information technology (HIT) systems. NIST research is designed 
to: (1) Develop a set of guidelines/standards for the usability of HIT/
EHRs, and (2) develop a framework for assessing EHR usability in 
development of a report titled ``NIST Usability Guidelines and 
Evaluation Framework for EHR Systems.'' NIST may also examine relevant 
instructions, documentation and EHR error messages.
    NIST is soliciting interest in supplying existing EHR systems for 
use by NIST in research to develop performance-oriented user interface 
design guidelines for EHRs, and a framework for assessing the usability 
of EHRs. Interested manufacturers should contact NIST at the address 
given above. NIST will supply a Letter of Understanding, which the 
manufacturer must execute and send back to NIST. The Letters of 
Understanding will be entered into pursuant to the authorities granted 
NIST under 15 U.S.C. 3710a. NIST will then provide the manufacturer 
with instructions for shipping the EHR system. NIST anticipates that it 
will take approximately one year to conduct all necessary research. No 
modification to the manufacturers' product is permitted during the 
research process. NIST may transport equipment to locations off site 
from NIST's main campus as required for the purpose of conducting 
usability studies. NIST will ensure that all off site usability testing 
locations have the same or higher level of security and system 
protection procedures as the on-site NIST labs located in the Usability 
Laboratory in Gaithersburg, MD. At the conclusion of the experiments, 
NIST will remove the EHR systems from all computers on which they were 
installed and return them to the manufacturers.
    Information acquired during the tests regarding potential usability 
problems will be reported to the respective manufacturer. Usability 
testing results for identifiable vendor systems will not be released 
subject to the terms and conditions in the Letters of Understanding. 
Comparative information (e.g., testing results from unidentified EHR 
systems A, B, and C) may be released in a blind manner in a report from 
NIST titled ``NIST Usability Guidelines and Evaluation Framework for 
EHR Systems.''
    Participating manufacturers should include or provide a technical 
tutorial on the use of the EHR system. NIST will pay all shipping costs 
associated with sending the EHR system installation and training 
materials except those not permitted by law (such as shipping 
insurance, which, if desired, must be purchased by the manufacturer). 
NIST must pay shipping costs directly and cannot reimburse 
manufacturers for shipping costs. Unless the manufacturer desires to 
pay such shipping insurance costs, there is no other cost to the 
manufacturer for the testing.
    EHR systems that will be accepted for the experiments may include 
inpatient and outpatient EHRs. NIST will not accept actual personal 
health information as part of this project.

    Dated: February 8, 2012.
Willie E. May,
Associate Director for Laboratory Programs.
[FR Doc. 2012-3415 Filed 2-13-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-13-P