New Video Discusses Advantages of Electronic Health Records

“If I could snap my finger and have one thing transform the quality of care in the country, it would be that everyone would have an electronic health record that would be universally accessible.”

Joseph McCannon, Senior Advisor to the Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

ONC recently released the video, “The Future of Health Care: Electronic Health Records,” which highlights the benefits of electronic health records (EHRs) through commentary from health information technology leaders.

The video features remarks from:

  • Dr. Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health IT;
  • Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer of HHS;
  • Dr. Donald Berwick, Administrator for CMS;
  • Dr. Sachin Jain, Former Senior Advisor to the Administrator of CMS;
  • Christine Bechtel, Vice President, National Partnership for Women & Families;
  • Representatives from Regional Extension Centers (RECs); and
  • Ginger Vieira, a patient advocate

These health IT leaders discuss the advantages of EHRs, which include the potential for higher quality care, improved health outcomes, and reduced costs.

Advantages of EHRs

By adopting and meaningfully using EHRs, in addition to providing more efficient care, providers and hospitals can:

  • Get a more complete picture. All of a patient’s health information—medical history, diagnoses, medications, lab and test results—is in one place.

“Our goal with this work is to have the information that’s been delivered to your patient, liquid, available—there when you need it so that you can make better decisions with your patient for their care,” stated David Cochran, M.D., Vermont Regional Extension Center.

  • Better coordinate care for patients. Providers involved in a patient’s care can access, enter, and share information in an EHR, which makes it easier to coordinate care among other health care providers.

“The record follows the patient so when the provider sees the patient, they can see the total record,” commented Dominic Mack, Georgia Regional Extension Center.

Patient Empowerment

For patients, EHRs can collect information from multiple parts of the health care system and store it one place, which makes it easier for patients to manage care for themselves and their family members.

“It would put me in a safer situation as a patient; it would give me support and back-up when I am speaking with a physician or a new physician,” said Ginger Vieira, a patient advocate.

Why Adopt EHRs?

As Todd Park, CTO of HHS stated in the video,

“Our health system has to change.  And it has to move toward one that actually coordinates care for a patient, one that actually understands what is going on with a patient, and a population of patients.”

EHRs give providers the opportunity to drive massive improvements in health care in terms of the quality, safety, and efficiency of care delivery.

Now is the time to take advantage of the EHR opportunity. Become a part of the future, and become a meaningful user of EHRs.

For More Information

To learn more, visit:

ONC Wants to Hear from You

Let ONC know what you think of the video by providing comments below, or on ONC’s YouTube Channel.


  1. Austin Ip says:

    Broader use of EHRs will enhance patient care by creating a reference point for multiple specialties, making it more likely that conflicting treatments and other errors will be avoided. EHRs also offer potential in reducing healthcare costs — much of which is driven by the creation and use of paper records.

  2. Scott Schumann says:

    As a medical professional I understand the value of moving forward with EHRs as well as the hesitation by many due to the seemingly daunting task. Yet, I am sure it will be just like any other change and the ‘pain’ of the change will be short lived and the immense value and benefits will have us all saying ‘why didn’t we do this sooner’.

  3. John Lynn says:

    Some good comments, but there are a lot more EMR and EHR benefits than just what’s listed in this blog post. You can see many more listed here: Exit Disclaimer

    Although, possibly even more interesting is the benefits of an EHR that we don’t even realize are possible, because until we have widespread EHR adoption many of the greatest minds can’t work on the real long term benefits of being electronic.

  4. Toma Thomas says:

    The EHR’s are definitely the move in the right direction. Not just for the vast savings that will be experienced, but when you consider the environmental impact that EMR and EHR can make it makes this process all the more critical. The inconvenience or struggle of change will not subside by pushing the change further down the road. It will be a difficult transition today and it will be a difficult transition tomorrow and yes some things will be easier if done later, but the costs keep piling up so there will never be a perfect time. We in the medical field will just have to bite the bullet.

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