clinical information systems, computerized patient order entry, electronic medical records, health care quality improvement



  1. Harrison, Jeffrey P. PhD
  2. Palacio, Carlos MD


This article addresses the increasing use of electronic medical records and supporting clinical information systems in US hospitals. It also addresses the current barriers to implementation of digital technology, which include cost, cultural factors, and the reluctance to embrace new technology. However, despite the barriers, there is evidence from the Veteran's Administration, Partners' HealthCare, Kaiser Permanente, and other organizations that electronic medical records and clinical information systems are a worthwhile investment. The benefits of the electronic medical records include the reduction of errors, improvement in clinical decision making during patient encounters, and universal access to information in real time. From a managerial perspective, health care organizations should adopt such systems to improve quality of care and to stay competitive in the marketplace. From a policy perspective, the electronic medical record provides an opportunity for integration of patient information and improves efficiency and quality of care across a wide range of patient populations.