Accessible Electronic Health Records: Defining a Research Agenda

Project: Research project

Project Details


Electronic solutions for storing, retrieving, sharing, and analyzing health related information are being deployed rapidly. Solutions may be designed for healthcare professionals or consumers. As a result, individuals may access the records infrequently or frequently, they may access a single record repeatedly (i.e., consumers reviewing their record) or many different records occasionally (i.e., providers preparing to meet with patients), or they may need to compare information across records (i.e., researchers looking for patterns). Individuals may enter or update information, or they may simply access the information which is likely to include a combination of text and graphics. Security must be maintained, collaboration should be supported, and privacy must be ensured. While solutions are being proposed in response to pressure from various stakeholders to move forward rapidly, there is a concern that accessibility of electronic medical records by people with disabilities has not been adequately addressed.

This is funding to support a workshop of approximately 15 researchers, to explore these issues. The workshop will have three related goals: to educate accessibility researchers with regard to the concerns and needs of the healthcare community; to educate the healthcare community with regard to issues, challenges, and existing solutions with regard to making relevant information accessible to individuals with disabilities; and to identify critical issues which need to be addressed by the research community if accessibility is to be effectively addressed in the context of electronic medical records. The workshop will take place in Orlando, Florida on October 23-24, 2010, and will be co-located with and on the days immediately preceding ACM's annual conference on computers and accessibility, ASSETS 2010, in the hope of thereby increasing the likelihood of engaging key accessibility researchers in the discussions. The PI will in addition solicit input and encourage participation from beyond the accessibility community, in order to ensure that the needs and concerns of the healthcare community are understood by attendees and integrated into the discussions.

Broader Impacts: This workshop will help identify important accessibility-related issues that may be addressed through future research, while providing individuals from the healthcare and accessibility communities with the opportunity to discuss common interests, goals, and concerns. Workshop outcomes will directly affect a broad range of users, including individuals from under-represented groups with a particular emphasis on individuals with disabilities. The event will foster networking amng both new and experienced researchers, and in particular will provide opportunities for new researchers to receive constructive feedback on current and future research plans through interactions with more senior researchers with related interests.

Effective start/end date9/1/108/31/11


  • National Science Foundation: $24,747.00


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