Clinical Systems have become standard partners with clinicians in the care of patients. As these systems become integral parts of the clinical workflow, they have the potential to help improve patient outcomes, however they have also in some cases have led to adverse events and has resulted in patients coming to harm. Often the root cause analysis of these adverse events can be traced back to Usability Errors in the Health Information Technology (HIT) or its interaction with users. Interoperability of the documentation of HIT related Usability Errors in a consistent fashion can improve our ability to do systematic reviews and meta-analyses. In an effort to support improved and more interoperable data capture regarding Usability Errors, we have created the Usability Error Ontology (UEO) as a classification method for representing knowledge regarding Usability Errors. We expect the UEO will grow over time to support an increasing number of HIT system types. In this manuscript, we present this Ontology of Usability Error Types and specifically address Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE), Electronic Health Records (EHR) and Revenue Cycle HIT systems.
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