Harnessing the power of the electronic health record data for use in program evaluation



The adoption of the electronic health record (EHR) will play a major role in the evolution of health-related program evaluation and applied research over the next 10 years. As we move toward meeting “meaningful use” standards, many mental health agencies will soon have the capacity to inform internal and external stakeholders about agency processes and outcomes at the click of a mouse. The EHR has become a necessity for business operations among all health-care providers, and it will be important for evaluators to devise ways to utilize this information effectively to guide the program evaluation process. The author describes ways that these data may be used, specifically from the viewpoint of empowerment evaluation, including as a viable secondary data source. © Wiley Periodicals, Inc., and the American Evaluation Association