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Finally someone decided to do it!

After years of discussion in the healthcare IT area over the ambiguous definitions of several eHealth terms, the American Department of Health Services, via the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), issued a contract to reach consensus on definitions for the terms EMR, EHR, PHR, HIE and RHIO.

The Chicago-based National Alliance for Health Information Technology was entrusted with this work and has released a set of definitions for those key healthcare technology terms, along with a thorough report explaining how the final text of the definitions were reached and what characteristics can be used to disambiguate between the terms.

The full report can be found under Defining Key Health Information Technology Terms, but the definitions are below for your convenience:

  • Electronic Medical Record: An electronic record of health-related information on an individual that can be created, gathered, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff within one healthcare organization.
  • Electronic Health Record: An electronic record of health-related information on an individual that conforms to nationally recognized interoperability standards and that can be created, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff across more than one healthcare organization.
  • Personal Health Record: An electronic record of health-related information on an individual that conforms to nationally recognized interoperability standards and that can be drawn from multiple sources while being managed, shared, and controlled by the individual.
  • Health Information Exchange: The electronic movement of health-related information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards.
  • Health Information Organization: An organization that oversees and governs the exchange of health-related information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards.
  • Regional Health Information Organization: A health information organization that brings together health care stakeholders within a defined geographic area and governs health information exchange among them for the purpose of improving health and care in that community.

We personally like the definitions and, especially for the first three, are quite happy that they coincide with our understanding of the several terms and the usage we’ve been giving to them.

So, having this now in place, let’s hope these definitions to be quickly adopted by the healthcare IT industry so that all of us – vendors, customers and healthcare professionals – may be sure that everybody is talking about the same thing when an EHR is mentioned.

We would nevertheless be curious to hear your opinions and whether these definitions fit your understanding. Looking forward to your comments,

Miguel

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2 Comments

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  1. Anonymous
    hi all,
    I need information about the BAPI that come in the module of ISH 6.0 already definite

    regards,

    (0) 

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