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Electronic health records (EHRs) allow for the systematic collection and management of patient health information in a form that can be shared across multiple health care settings. By providing easier access to patients’ medical records, EHRs can help improve healthcare quality, efficiency and safety. These systems can also promote use of preventive services, improve public health surveillance, and support research to improve population health. But despite these advantages, the expense of system implementation has slowed EHR adoption rates. With U.S. health care expenditures exceeding $2.5 trillion yearly (17% of our GDP), such investments must provide cost-effective support for better health at the individual and population levels.
Fortunately, there is substantial evidence to show that while initial costs remain a concern, converting from paper records to EHR systems will ultimately reduce health care expenses across the board. Research indicates that Medicare and private payers would receive tens of billions of dollars in cost savings each year. To further encourage EHR adoption, the federal government has introduced a plan to provide $44.7 billion during 2010-2019 for an EHR incentive program to supplement the implementation process for many health care providers.
This session of Public Health Grand Rounds explored the issues of EHR implementation with particular attention to public and population health while addressing concerns of cost, patient confidentiality, and other challenges.
- Seth Foldy, MD, MPH, FAAFP
- Director, Public Health Informatics and Technology Program Office
Office of Surveillance, Epidemiology and Laboratory Services, CDC
- Robert Lamberts, MD
- Evans Medical Group
- Jac J. Davies, MS, MPH
Beacon Community of the Inland Northwest Health Services
- Amy Zimmerman, MPH
- Rhode Island State Health Information Technology Coordinator
Executive Offices of Health Human Services
- Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM
- Director, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
Department of Health and Human Services
- Tanja Popovic, MD, PhD
- Scientific Director
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- Page last reviewed: February 28, 2018
- Page last updated: February 28, 2018
- Content source:
- Office of the Associate Director for Science
- Page maintained by: Office of the Associate Director for Communication