Electronic Health Records—Interoperability


In order for electronic health records (EHRs) to be used to their fullest potential, different systems must be able to easily exchange data with one another. Often referred to as interoperability, this allows doctors and their patients to quickly access the information they need to make informed health care decisions.

Unfortunately, many EHR systems cannot effectively share data with each other. Patients are often forced to bring paper records and prescription bottles with them when they change health care providers. And their new doctor may have to rely on them to remember critical details. In an emergency, delays in accessing health records can be deadly.

Pew is researching ways to enhance interoperability, so that patients and their doctors have the data they need to make informed health care decisions.


Enhanced Patient Matching Is Critical to Achieving Full Promise of Digital Health Records

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The way patients receive medical care has drastically changed over the past decade as most hospitals and doctors’ offices have transitioned from paper charts to electronic health records (EHRs) that help clinicians order medications, document treatment decisions, and review laboratory results. These digital records can introduce numerous efficiencies and give patients and medical professionals more complete information on which to base decisions.

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