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J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2008 Nov;19(4):1270-81. doi: 10.1353/hpu.0.0090.

The use of electronic medical records for homeless outreach.

Author information

1
Seaton House Men's Shelter, and Department of Family and Community Medicine, St. Michael's Hospital, St Michael's Health Centre, 410 Sherbourne Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To assess the features of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) used by North American homeless outreach organizations.

METHODS:

Twenty-eight homeless outreach agencies throughout North America were contacted. Nine used EMRs for homeless outreach. Service providers from these nine agencies were interviewed to learn more about their EMRs.

RESULTS:

While all of the agencies we interviewed were using different EMR systems, the important features of these EMRs were quite similar. Two of the most frequently cited essential features were: 1) the ability of different sites and providers to access medical information; and 2) the capacity to collect aggregated client data (such as numbers of clients served, services provided, and outcomes) for planning, evaluation, and advocacy purposes.

CONCLUSION:

An electronic medical record (EMR) available at multiple locations to multiple providers is a powerful tool with the potential to improve the coordination, safety, efficiency, and quality of care to people who are homeless.

PMID:
19029752
DOI:
10.1353/hpu.0.0090
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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