Electronic Patient Records: Moving from Islands and Bridges towards Electronic Health Records for Continuity of Care

Journal: IMIA Yearbook
ISSN: 0943-4747

Biomedical Informatics for Sustainable Health Systems

Issue: 2007: IMIA Yearbook 2007
Pages: 34-46

Electronic Patient Records: Moving from Islands and Bridges towards Electronic Health Records for Continuity of Care

Section 2: Patient Records


Petra Knaup (1), Oliver Bott (2), Christian Kohl (1), Christian Lovis (3), Sebastian Garde (4)

(1) Department of Medical Informatics, University of Heidelberg, Germany; (2) Institute for Medical Informatics, Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany; (3) Service of Medical Informatics, University Hospital of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland; (4) Health Informatics Research Group, Central Queensland University, Austin Health, Melbourne, Vic, Australia;


Standards, Medical Informatics, Electronic health record, interoperability, Computerized patient record systems


Objectives: Electronic patient record (EPR) systems are increasingly used and have matured sufficiently so as to contribute to high quality care and efficient patient management. Our objective is to summarize current trends and major achievements in the field of EPR in the last year and to discuss their future prospects. Results: Integrating health data from a variety of sources in a comprehensive EPR is a major prerequisite for e-health and eresearch. Current research continues to elaborate architectures, technologies and security concepts. To achieve semantic interoperability standards are developed on different levels, including basic data types, messages, services, architectures, terminologies, ontologies, scope and presentation of EPR content. Standards development organisations have started to harmonize their work to arrive at a consensus standard for EPR systems. Integrating the health care enterprise as a whole will optimize efficient use of resources, logistics and scheduling. Conclusions: The past few years have seen a myriad of developments of EPR systems. However, it is still a long way, until EPR systems can flexibly fulfill all user requirements and an EHR will become broadly accepted. Semantic interoperability will be a key to successful EPR use, especially to avoid double data entries and to better integrate data recording within local workflows. The patient will become an empowered partner, not only by giving him access to his health data. All this will result in enormous quantities of data. Thus, time has come to determine how relevant data can be presented to the stakeholders adequately.

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