Electronic Health Record and Family Health Information

National initiatives are pushing the U.S. health care industry to embrace electronic health records (EHRs) and make them available for all Americans by the year 2014. The term electronic health record is an umbrella term encompassing both electronic medical records (EMRs), used and maintained by health care providers, and personal health records (PHRs) maintained by consumers. Google Health and Microsoft Health Vault are examples of PHR tools, enabling lay persons to maintain an electronic record of their personal health.

Family health information is an important component of EHRs, including family history, next of kin, living situation, whom to notify in case of emergency, and support persons. Family health history information in particular has become of increasing interest in recent years as a result of the expansion ...

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