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Invited Commentary
October 28, 2013

Secondary Use of Health Information: Are We Asking the Right Question?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(19):1806-1807. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.8276

The implementation and deployment of electronic health records on a national scale continues to be an arduous and expensive process. Although there is still controversy as to whether the use of electronic health records will lower costs and improve care, there is much less disagreement about the value of the data generated through the course of clinical care. With increasingly fraught and expensive trials and research cohorts, it is appealing to use the informational and biological by-products of health care delivery cost-effectively to expand our knowledge of biomedical science and improve its practice.1 Moreover, through the use of technology such as i2b22 and national networks such as eMERGE,3 there have been many impressive early successes as outlined below.

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