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Editor's Note
April 2016

Making Electronic Health Records Work Better for Patient Care

JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(4):560. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.0219

The promise of the electronic health record (EHR) has always been that it will make the health care system work better for patient care—physicians will communicate more effectively across sites of care, tests will not need to be redone because laboratory results and radiographic images will be readily available, and patients will have access to and ownership of their records. Unfortunately, we are far from this promise and now also grapple with the unintended consequences of EHRs. For instance, there is a loss in personal connection when a physician faces the computer screen instead of the patient. Another consequence is the way in which electronic “paperwork” has burdened physicians and reduced the time available for patient care, stories of which are common in the popular press.1,2

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