Electronic Health Records

For complete information regarding electronic health records (EHRs) please visit the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (Health IT).

What is EHR?

An electronic health record (EHR) is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users. While an EHR does contain the medical and treatment histories of patients, an EHR system is built to go beyond standard clinical data collected in a provider’s office and can be inclusive of a broader view of a patient’s care. EHRs can: 

One of the key features of an EHR is that health information can be created and managed by authorized providers in a digital format capable of being shared with other providers across more than one health care organization. EHRs are built to share information with other health care providers and organizations – such as laboratories, specialists, medical imaging facilities, pharmacies, emergency facilities, and school and workplace clinics – so they contain information from all clinicians involved in a patient’s care. 

EHRs and the ability to exchange health information electronically can help you provide higher quality and safer care for patients while creating tangible enhancements for your organization. 

Beginning January 1, 2022, all practitioners must have the capability to issue and receive e-prescriptions to a pharmacy selected by the patient. All prescriptions, excluding eyeglass and contact lenses, must be issued as an e-prescription.

Health IT offers resources to the entire health system to support the adoption of health information technology and the promotion of nationwide health information exchange to improve health care. 

Health IT Playbook: a source for clinicians and practice administrators who are adopting, optimizing, upgrading, or changing an EHR system. The tools you’ll find here are intended to make your EHR experience more efficient, less burdensome, and more effective: https://www.healthit.gov/playbook/electronic-health-records/

Regional Extension Centers (REC)

RECs provide on-the-ground technical assistance for individual and small provider practices, medical practices lacking resources to implement and maintain EHRs. RECs to provide education, outreach, and technical assistance to help providers in their geographic service areas to select, successfully implement and meaningfully use certified Electronic Health Record technology to improve the quality and value of health care. 

California RECs: 

Certified EHR Technologies

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Health IT Certification Program provides assurance to purchasers and other users that a system meets the technological capability, functionality, and security requirements adopted by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Search the Certified Health IT Product List for Health IT modules that have been tested and certified under this program.

EHR Payment Incentives are available

21st Century Cures Act Final Rule

The new rules hold the promise of increased clinical collaboration between doctors, allowing for informed and better health care decision-making. Providers must comply with the new rules by April 5, 2021. The Cures Act Final Rule pertains exclusively to electronic health information and the access and exchange of that electronic data.

Considerations to make when preparing for the new changes:

Learn more by reading this Q&A by the AOA.