Electronic Health Record-(EHR)

An electronic health record is the storing of a health care patient’s medical record electronically or in a digital format. An EHR is a life-long record that incorporates a patient's health care details from all institutions, making it a comprehensive reflection of the actual patient experience of receiving health care. The thought of using an electronic health record is not a new idea seeing as it has been around for about 25 years. Recently, however, there has been an increase in interest of the topic. More than ever, physicians are acknowledging the importance of having EHRs to stay aligned with the visions of our country in regards to health care. Alongside numerous benefits, EHRs enable quick and easy access to patient records, providing quality care. Another advantage an electronic health record provides for medical professional is the ability to dynamically update a patients health record. From that point on, all who accesses the individual’s health record will get the latest information on that patient. The (EHR) system will allow for physicians to see more patients, cut back on medical errors, find cures for disease faster due to more accurate records, and have increased productivity on the job, mainly from being able to access there patients’ health record quickly and easily.

Electronic health records (EHRs) are a patient’s health records which are electronically stored and shared across various healthcare formats and settings. The sharing of these patient health records are within a network of validated companies and enterprises which would make relevant use of these patient health records. These patient electronic health records include data and information such as medical history, medications they may be on or have been on in the past, immunization statuses, vital signs and personal information such as full name and date of birth for each individual patient.


  • Patient demographics.
  • Medical history, examination and progress reports of health and illnesses.
  • Medicine and allergy lists, and immunization status.
  • Laboratory test results.
  • Radiology images (X-rays, CTs, MRIs, etc.)
  • Photographs, from endoscopy or laparoscopy or clinical photographs.
  • Medication information, including side effects and interactions.
  • Evidence-based recommendations for specific medical conditions
  • A record of appointments and other reminders.
  • Billing records.
  • Eligibility
  • Advanced directives, living wills, and health powers of attorney


EHRs are meant to be readily available and up to date at all times for speedy processing of the patient at all times. EHRs reduce the errors that may be caused by legibility issues which may be caused by a healthcare professional’s handwriting or accidents to the original documents. EHRs also reduce additional time needed to track down previous medical records which can be scattered over different networks and organizations that may not be under that specific HER umbrella of networks. EHRs are also theoretically ideal for data mining at an individual level since all records for that patient are being recorded and stored every time the individual goes to get a healthcare service.

  • Safer and more effective delivery of health care
  • Less medical errors (CPOE, DSS)
  • Improvement of case management
  • Reduction of duplicate examinations
  • Complete & correct data source for public health and research
  • Promotes evidence based medicine


  • Learning curve
  • Costs (sunk costs, hidden costs, ongoing costs)
  • Workflow Issues

Web Resources:


Related Terminology:

Consumer Health Informatics (CHI)
Computer Based Patient Records (CPR)
Electronic Medical Records (EMR)


EHRintelligence.com | Latest EHR/EMR news and selection information. (2012, January 1). Retrieved October 27, 2014.
Local Public Health Information | The National Association of County and City Health Officials | NACCHO. (n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2014.


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