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Using Electronic Health Records to Help Coordinate Care

Authors


Lynda C. Burton, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205 (e-mail: lburton@jhsph.edu).

Abstract

The use of electronic health records that can securely transmit patient data among physicians will help coordinate the care of 60 million Americans with multiple chronic conditions. This article summarizes the different organizations in the United States that are developing this technology. It discusses some of the problems encountered and the current initiatives to resolve them. The article concludes with three recommendations for enhancing care coordination: (1) a common health record, such as the Continuity of Care Record, to facilitate the exchange of clinical information among health providers; (2) regional governance structures to encourage the exchange of clinical data; and (3) payment by purchasers of care, both public and private, to physicians for using electronic health records.

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