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Electronic Health Records

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Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)


The Electronic Health Record (EHR) represents the evolution and convergence of medicine and technology. Its advent has significantly changed the landscape in which medical policy and process shall be created. From its origins as simple billing and accounting systems, to the full-fledged interactive records of today, the wills of the medical community, public health, and government have been at odds to ensure their concerns and requirements are adequately represented in implementations around the world. Governments around the world have passed legislation to foster the adoption of unified health records capable of recording and reporting health data in a standardized, structured format, with surprising and varying results.

The United States (US) also has ventured down the path of creating a national system of electronic health records that is able to exchange patient data seamlessly and securely. Extensive emphasis has been paid to the standardization of data, and to transmission structures and methodologies to ensure the extensibility of the system as a whole. After witnessing the difficulty encountered by other nations that mandated a singular solution for all providers, programs have been created that provide paths for software vendors to have their applications certified as compliant with the program’s standards. This approach allows providers to have the ability to choose EHR packages that meet the needs of their practices and facilities. Additional measures provide incentives for adoption and still others call for improved reporting to public health and evidence-based medicine repositories.

All of these forces are moving the medical community ever closer to the ultimate goal of EHR technology providing clearer pictures of the conditions affecting individuals and the effects of these conditions upon the population as a whole. Globally or more narrowly, in various geographic or socioeconomic sectors the impact of the EHR and its myriad uses are only beginning to be discovered.


  • Acknowledgement logic
  • Computerized Provider Order Entry
  • Continuity of care
  • Electronic Data Interchange
  • Electronic Health Record
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
  • Health Level 7
  • Healthcare Information Technology
  • Hospital Information System
  • Integration Engines
  • Interface
  • Laboratory Information Systems
  • Meaningful Use
  • Picture Archiving and Communications Systems
  • Protected Health Information
  • Public Health Informatics
  • e-Prescribing

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4471-4237-9_10
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Correspondence to Stephen P. Julien .

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© 2014 Springer-Verlag London

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Julien, S.P. (2014). Electronic Health Records. In: Magnuson, J., Fu, Jr., P. (eds) Public Health Informatics and Information Systems. Health Informatics. Springer, London.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4471-4236-2

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