Safe—Avoiding injuries to patients from the care that is intended to help them (IOM, 2001)

Sociotechnical systems—A construct identifying the interactions between people, processes, technology, organizations, and environment that influence complex systems

Usability—Extent to which a product can be used by specific users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specific context of use (ISO, 1998)

Users—Health professionals, health care organizations, and patients who may actively use health IT products

Vendors—Companies that make, sell, and may provide support for health IT products and homegrown systems


IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). 1990. IEEE standard computer dictionary: A compilation of IEEE standard computer glossaries. New York: IEEE.

IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2001. Crossing the quality chasm: A new health system for the 21st century. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

IOM. 2004. Patient safety: Achieving a new standard for care. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

ISO (International Organization for Standardization). 1998. International standard 9241 ergonomic requirements for office work with visual display terminals, part 11: Guidance on usability. Geneva, Switzerland: ISO.

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