When it comes to Norman Doors, the real shame lies with the designer who failed to account for basic human factors. Far too many HIT applications reflect a disregard for basic principles of human factors engineering.

The title may not be very sexy, but the content and direction of CMS’s latest fact sheet on information blocking should grab everyone’s attention. As the fact sheet makes clear, in order to qualify for the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS), eligible clinicians must attest that they have not knowingly and willfully limited or restricted the compatibility or interoperability of their certified electronic health record (EHR) technology. The fact sheet specifically calls out technical, policy and workflow decisions as the keys to meeting the requirement and, by implication, the ways that providers and EMR vendors might fail to show “good faith efforts” to meet these requirements.

A recent Healthcare IT News article highlighted John Halamka, MD, CIO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and his discussion of the need for personalized treatment plans. Halamka suggests we must integrate care planning and clinical pathways tools with EHRs, and that FHIR services can enable connections with these third-party applications. He notes this will “reduce errors and cost, include appropriate peer-rated evidence and result in clear action for the care team.”

I didn’t know it at the time, but just this year a family member of mine faced serious health complications because of an interoperability challenge. Fortunately, Julie (not her real name), faced no serious consequences. She’s doing well, back into her typical active routine. But, Julie endured a frustrating experience while in the hospital for two days following a routine procedure. While she was hospitalized, a basic information gap impeded high quality patient care. This makes our work at Sansoro Health hit even closer to home.