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August 24/31, 2011

The Promise of Electronic RecordsAround the Corner or Down the Road?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Division of General Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts.

JAMA. 2011;306(8):880-881. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1219

In 2009, the US Congress passed the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which offers nearly $30 billion in financial incentives to physicians and hospitals that adopt and choose to meaningfully use electronic health records (EHRs).1 The act is meant to help a health care system that consumes $2.5 trillion each year and produces health care that is below the standards of safety, quality, and efficiency that should be expected in the United States. There is broad consensus among US policy makers that EHRs will play a key role in transforming health care into a safer, more effective, and more efficient system.

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