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Book and Media Reviews
September 22/29, 2010

Information Discovery on Electronic Health Records

JAMA. 2010;304(12):1385. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1379

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 have given prominence to electronic health records and electronic medical records (EMRs). Many clinicians, the public, and payers believe that information technology can both reduce costs and improve the quality of care. Thus, the topics covered in Information Discovery on Electronic Health Records are both timely and important.

This combination textbook and reference guide covers topics basic to health care information technology. Chapters include topics such as XML (a method to classify and tag the type and context of data), a description and history of electronic health records, standardized terminologies and their ontologies used in health care, patient privacy, ethical and social issues for data protection, data integration, data quality, imaging, and real-time monitoring. The text bases many of its approaches on emerging standards in health care informatics from the International Standards Organization, American National Standards Institute, Health Level 7 International, and other standards groups. Quite often, health care standards are developed with the intent of being forward-looking or progressive. Most of the chapter authors have backgrounds in computer science and information systems. Accordingly, the writing style seems more appropriate for a non–health care audience, and the topics seem to use standards as the basis.

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