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Electronic Health Records: Improving America's Health Care

The nation is entering a new era of health care where patients and doctors can use electronic health records to improve health and the way health care is delivered in this country.


Electronic health records make it possible for you and your doctors to better manage your care through secure use and sharing of health information. With electronic health records, doctors can have:

  • More accurate and complete information about your health and health care, enabling them to provide you with the best possible care.
  • The ability to better coordinate your care and your family’s care, as health information can be shared electronically and in a fast and convenient way.
  • Information to help them diagnose your health problems, reduce medical errors, and provide safer care at lower costs.

Electronic health records also allow you to experience more convenient care. For example, you won’t likely have to spend time filling out or answering the same questions about your health every time you visit the doctor or hospital, and you will be notified when you or your child needs preventive care such as vaccinations.

About Privacy and Security

Privacy and security are vital to a successful switch to electronic health records. People’s health information is protected under a law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This law:

  • Gives patients the right to see or get a copy of their health records
  • Sets rules about who can look at and receive patient health information

One security feature of electronic health records is that they include an audit trail that shows who has looked at them. The government is continuing to develop rules about the privacy and security of personal health information.

Video Perspectives on Health Information Exchange

Access to Care: Free to Travel…making your health information available wherever you go

Life is full of unexpected trials; medical problems interrupt even the best of plans. And when these situations arise, we want to have confidence we will be treated well. Meet Morris. A blues singer in the South, Morris spends a great deal of time on the road performing. He’s experienced the anxiety of being sick in an unfamiliar place. His story is a real-life reminder of the need for quick and easy access to personal medical data, especially in a place where nobody knows you.


Adopt Electronic Health Records: The Path to Better Health

For questions about the video content or for more information on health
information exchange, please contact the Office of eHealth at

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