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Electronic Health Records

Electronic Health Records


In 2004, President George W. Bush set a national goal for most Americans to have an electronic health record within a decade, or by 2014.  In 2005, Hurricane Katrina proved the pressing need for such electronic records.  CMS is working with other government agencies and the provider sector to support the goal.

An Electronic Health Record (EHR) is an electronic version of a patients medical history, that is maintained by the provider over time, and may include all of the key administrative clinical data relevant to that persons care under a particular provider, including demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data and radiology reports   The EHR automates access to information and has the potential to streamline the clinician's workflow.  The EHR also has the ability to support other care-related activities directly or indirectly through various interfaces, including evidence-based decision support, quality management, and outcomes reporting.

EHRs are the inevitable next step in the continued progress of healthcare that can strengthen the relationship between patients and clinicians.  The data, and the timeliness and availability of it, will enable providers to make better decisions and provide better care.  

For example, the EHR can improve patient care by:

  • Reducing the incidence of medical error by improving the accuracy and clarity of medical records.
  • Making the health information available, reducing duplication of tests, reducing delays in treatment, and patients well informed to take better decisions.
  • Reducing medical error by improving the accuracy and clarity of medical records.

For industry resources on EHR, please see the links in the "Related Links Outside CMS" section below.


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Related Links Inside CMS

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Related Links Outside CMSExternal Linking Policy
American Health Information Community (AHIC)

Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)

Health Level Seven (HL7)


Page Last Modified: 08/12/2008 10:35:44 AM
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