ACADEMIC EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2011; 18:e45–e51 © 2011 by the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine


With the 2010 federal health care reform passage, a renewed focus has emerged for the integration of electronic health records (EHRs) into the U.S. health care system. A consensus conference in October 2009 met to discuss the future research agenda with regard to using information technology (IT) to improve the future quality and safety of emergency department (ED) care. The literature is mixed as to how the use of computerized provider order entry (CPOE), clinical decision support (CDS), EHRs, and patient tracking systems has improved or degraded the safety and quality of ED care. Such mixed findings must be considered in the national push for rapid implementation of health IT. We present a research agenda addressing the major questions that are posed by the introduction of IT into ED care; these questions relate to interoperability, patient flow and integration into clinical work, real-time decision support, handoffs, safety-critical computing, and the interaction between IT systems and clinical workflows.