NIST offers health IT framework contracts
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is seeking contractors to fully develop and execute a project to create a usability framework for health IT systems. The framework includes development, refinement and harmonization of HIT usability standards and certification process.

The contract will be funded in whole or part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, according to NIST.

The organization said the requirements of the project include, but are not limited to:
  1. Tasks, Users and Systems Research: Perform cognitive task analysis of the healthcare delivery task environment, determine user characteristics, perform human factors analyses of a representative sample of existing health IT systems, develop hypotheses about critical health IT design features and evaluate hypotheses with usability testing.
  1. Organizational Usability Processes Research: Study existing health IT industry usability practices, investigate current usability evaluation methods being used in HIT, conduct a workshop of acknowledged experts in health IT usability, create a well-defined usability evaluation process and develop a common format for health IT formative and summative usability test reporting.
  2. Development Methodology Task Area: Define, develop and scope requirements, define and develop the project approach and description, adopt and refine methodologies following standard usability engineering principles, define and manage organizational requirements, perform cognitive task analyses and develop user profiles, conduct human factors analyses of systems, and provide documentation and communication.
Interested sources must submit a copy of their capability statement (20 pages or less) by 3:00 p.m. EST on Feb. 5 to, with copied, the notice stated.