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Abstract

President Bush identified electronic medical records (EMRs), also known as electronic health records (EHRs), as one of the 4 cornerstones in his value driven health care initiative. EMRs represent a “disruptive technology” insofar as they change the way we capture, store, retrieve, share, and use health information. Because they have the ability to transform and enhance virtually all communications, transactions, and analyses involving healthcare information, implementation of EMRs will have a profound effect on patients, providers, and payers. The transformation likely will parallel the one which occurred as information technology enhanced knowledge and productivity in the non-healthcare segments of the U.S. economy. As such, the potential of EMRs to have a significant and positive impact on quality and value in healthcare is great.

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