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Electronic Health Records Infographic

How do electronic health records (EHRs) connect you and your doctor? In the past, medical data was only stored on paper, making it difficult for your health care providers to share your information. Between 2001 and 2011, the number of doctors using an EHR system grew to about 57%, making it easier for you and all of your doctors to coordinate your care, and often reducing the chance of medical errors. Where are electronic health records headed? In this Infographic, view the history of electronic health records and see how they may improve your health and health care in the future.

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Electronic Health Records Infographic from ONC


Electronic Health Records:

How they connect you and your doctors

You and your doctor can share your data more effectively and quickly with other health care providers. There are multiple benefits to you. For example, you can eliminate the time and hassle of taking multiple tests or exams.

Where We Were

There was a lot of paper.

Most medical data was not electronic, so the exchange of information between the following health care providers may not have been possible:

  • Your doctor and a pharmacy
  • Your doctor and another trusted health care provider
  • Your doctor and a hospital

Physicians' use of EMR/EHR systems increased from 18% in 2001 to 57% in 20111

Where We Are Now

Many doctors are using electronic health records.

Doctors, labs, pharmacies, and hospitals can store patients' health data electronically. This will help:

  • Make your doctor visits faster
  • Seamlessly coordinate your care among all your doctors
  • Allow you to be in full control of all your medical data

2 out of 3 people would consider switching to a physician who offers access to medical records through a secure Internet connection2

What can you do with access to your health record?

  • Check to make sure your information is correct and complete
  • Keep track of important health information (e.g., vaccination records and test results)
  • Have your medical history available if you are changing doctors or visiting a specialist
  • Keep track of all your medicines and dosages

Having electronic access to your medical record can help you better manage your health.

  • 80% of Americans who have access to their health information in electronic health records use it3
  • 65% of Americans who don't have electronic access to their health information say it's important to have it4

E-health tools and mobile devices can help you better manage your personal health and wellness.

17 million: Number of consumers using mobile devices to access health information in 2011

27% of Adults who use the internet have tracked the following:6

  • weight
  • diet
  • exercise routines
  • health indicators
  • symptoms

People who are more engaged in their health actually get better health care7

Where We Are Headed

Emerging technologies offer new ways for you and your doctor to monitor and manage chronic illnesses. You will be able to:8

  • Use GPS technology or real-time reminders and alerts to petter prevent and treat health complications
  • Send vital health data from your home to physicians' offices
  • Have virtual visits and receive health coaching from providers based on clinical data transmitted
You and Your Doctor
  • Extended Care Visits
  • Medication Adherence
  • Clinical Support
  • Home Telehealth
  • Virtual Visits
  • Transmit Files from Home

11%: users who download an app to help them track or manage their health9

What Does This Mean for You?

How technology will improve your health:

  • Less paperwork
  • Easy, electronic access to your medical records
  • Better care coordination among health care providers
  • Faster, more accurate prescriptions
  • Fewer unnecessary tests and procedures
  • Greater control over your health

Remember to ask your health care providers if they use and provide access to Electronic Health Records

  1. NCHS data Brief, No. 79, November 2011. Hsiao, C., Hing, E., Socey, T.C., Cai, B. (2010) Electronic Medical Record/Electronic Health Record Systems of Office-based Physicians: United States, 2009, and Preliminary 2010 State Estimates. National Center for Health Statistics. [PDF - 220 KB]
  2. 2011 Survey of Health Care Consumers in the United States: Key Findings, Strategic Implications. Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, Washington, DC, 2011.
  3. National Partnership for Women and Families. Making IT Meaningful: How Consumers Value and Trust Health IT. 2012.
  4. National Partnership for Women and Families. Making IT Meaningful: How Consumers Value and Trust Health IT. 2012.
  5. Dolan, PL. Patients expected to use smartphones for health monitoring. 2012. Amednews.com.
  6. Fox S. The social life of health information. 2011. Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.
  7. Finn, NB. Collaboration, communication and connection: fostering patient engagement in health care. Journal of Participatory Medicine. 2012; and Institute for Health Technology Transformation. Top Ten Things You Need to Know About Engaging Patients. April 2011. [PDF - 5.7 MB]
  8. Bartolini E and McNeill N. Getting to value: eleven chronic disease technologies to watch. 2012. NEHI.
  9. Purcell K. Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. 2011. Half of adult cell phone owners have apps on their phones. Pew Internet Research.