Electronic Health Record (EHR) is a word that has been perplexing caregivers, physicians and hospitals for more than a decade. Simply put, an Electronic Health Record is a summation of medical records and history of a patient in electronic form, with information technology bolstering it from the core. However, this simple definition does not justify the mammoth task this technological transfer entails. In practice, creation of an electronic health record requires accessing every known medical detail of a patient and processing, collating and presenting it in a usable form. The emphasis is on usable data, data that can be analyzed, adjusted and utilized for providing better care.
The sheer magnitude of the task and its inherent importance has coaxed the government into taking active steps toward motivating the stakeholders to move to EHR and shun paper records. Incentives, through Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, are working as an impetus for doctors and hospitals to adopt the EHR for data storage. Even with this in place, there are certain areas where EHR still needs to catch up.