With almost $35 billion appropriated in government incentives and additional funds spent in development by institutions, the concept of an electronic patient record (EPR) within integrated health information technology (HIT) systems has taken the United States by storm. However, the United Kingdom's expensive struggle to implement a seamless EPR highlights the variety of pitfalls and unforeseen complications ranging from recognizing the importance of accurately assessing EPR-related patient risks to understanding the difficulties in the exchange of information across a gradient of distinct interfaces. Furthermore, the tenuous relationship between HIT implementation and patient outcomes in the short-term draws into question the value of EPR construction costs along with the ethical and privacy issues they create. Nonetheless, experts agree that with future software advances and physician familiarization, a robust HIT will be an important asset to patient autonomy, epidemiologic and clinical research, evidence-based error reduction and the potential for cost reduction. This article seeks to review the current status of this initiative and potential pitfalls that remain.
- Electronic health care privacy
- Electronic medical record
- Health information technology
- Outcomes research
ASJC Scopus subject areas