Electronic Health Record (EHR)

an electronic tool that captures a wide range of information related to a patient’s health, entered by health care providers in various settings, and aggregates the data to serve different needs. According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), an electronic health record is defined as a longitudinal electronic record of patient health information generated by one or more encounters in any care delivery setting. Included in this information are patient demographics, progress notes, problems, medications, vital signs, past medical history, immunizations, laboratory data, and radiology reports. The data in the EHR is used to generate a complete record of a clinical patient encounter, as well as supporting other care-related activities directly or indirectly via interface, including evidence-based decision support, quality management, and outcomes reporting. Beyond patient-specific medical data, EHRs include clinical decision support tools, computerized provider order entry systems, and e-prescribing systems (IOM, 2012). As discussed during the workshop, use of the EHR for clinical research purposes could play a key role in bridging the current divide between clinical research and practice.