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J Am Med Inform Assoc. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):723-8. doi: 10.1197/jamia.M2793. Epub 2008 Aug 28.

New standards and enhanced utility for family health history information in the electronic health record: an update from the American Health Information Community's Family Health History Multi-Stakeholder Workgroup.

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  • 1Genomic Healthcare Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Family health history is a complex, multifaceted tool for assessing disease risk that can offer insight into the interplay between inherited and social factors relevant to patient care. Family health history tools in electronic health records can enable the user to collect, represent, and interpret structured data that properly supports clinical decisions. If these data can be made interoperable, important health information can be shared with minimal duplication of effort among entities involved in the continuum of patient care. This paper reviews the efforts by the American Health Information Community's Family Health History Multi-Stakeholder Workgroup to create a core data set for family health history information and to determine requirements to promote incorporation of such information in electronic health records. The Workgroup is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Personalized Health Care Initiative.

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