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June 12, 2013

Enhancing Patient-Centered Communication and Collaboration by Using the Electronic Health Record in the Examination Room

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Bioethics, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

JAMA. 2013;309(22):2327-2328. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.6030

As widespread adoption of the electronic health record (EHR) takes place in US medical practice, many health care experts have emphasized the promising capabilities of the EHR to foster patient activation, which is a characteristic of patients who view themselves as active collaborators in their own health care management.1 The use of EHRs has the potential to facilitate patient-physician communication via electronic messaging. It can also facilitate patient access to personal records, test results, health education tools, and tools for tracking and assessing the progress of chronic disease management. In addition to these features, new possibilities have arisen from innovative studies that enabled patients to read their physician notes online after the clinical encounter. After reviewing their visit notes, patients reported feeling more in control of their care.2

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