Friday, April 18, 2008


This week's New England Journal of Medicine includes several articles discussing electronic health records.

- Two perspective pieces: Personally Controlled Online Health Data — The Next Big Thing in Medical Care? by R. Steinbrook and Off the Record — Avoiding the Pitfalls of Going Electronic by P. Hartzband and J. Groopman

- A Sounding Board piece: Electronic Health Records, Medical Research, and the Tower of Babel by R. D. Kush, E. Helton, F. W. Rockhold, and C. D. Hardison

Each item gives a little bit different perspective on the potential benefits and pitfalls of electronic health records and strategies for implementing and using them. Steinbrook focuses on consumer involvement in health care and issues of data ownership and portability, while Hartzband and Groopman focus on the clinician perspective. Kush et al. consider data standards for EHRs in relationship to clinical research.

Another Sounding Board item in this issue, Tectonic Shifts in the Health Information Economy by K. D. Mandl and I. S. Kohane, talks about HIPAA in relationship to portals like Google Health and Microsoft Health Vault, among many other interesting things.



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