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April 25, 2012

Sharing Clinical Data ElectronicallyA Critical Challenge for Fixing the Health Care System

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Dr Adler-Milstein); and Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School, and VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Jha).

JAMA. 2012;307(16):1695-1696. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.525

The United States is undertaking an ambitious effort to wire the health care system. The goal is to build a nationwide information infrastructure to serve as the foundation for large and sustained improvements in performance. Widespread adoption of health information technology will support new care delivery models, such as patient-centered medical homes, alongside broader initiatives, such as performance reporting and public health surveillance. To enable the health information technology revolution, Congress allocated nearly $30 billion focused on 2 main goals: transitioning physicians and hospitals from paper-based to electronic systems and enabling these systems to interoperate, allowing clinical data to flow between health care organizations.

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