Consumers and healthcare professionals remained confused about the meanings of healthcare information technology terms, despite HHS/ONC for Healthcare IT funding “official definitions” from the National Association for Healthcare IT. It is important that all come to consensus on what is meant by the many healthcare information technology terms.
Standard definitions by the National Alliance for Health Information Technology (which recently ceased operations shortly after delivering its healthcare IT terminology report):
Electronic medical record: Information on a patient that can be created, gathered, managed and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff in one health care organization.
Electronic health record: Information on a patient that conforms to nationally recognized interoperability standards. It can be created, managed and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff across more than one group.
Personal health record: Information on an individual that conforms to nationally recognized interoperability standards and that can be drawn from multiple sources. It is controlled by the patient.
Health information exchange: Electronic movement of health information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards.
Health information organization: A body that oversees and governs the exchange of health information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards.
Regional health information organization: A body that brings together health care stakeholders within a defined geographic area and governs health information exchange among them to improve health and care.
Back in 2005, Gartner defined the term EHR as the larger government led effort to consolidate all health information into a longitudinal health record.
Note that the Gartner Term, “Computerized Patient Record” (CPR) was not addressed by the HHS group. Gartner defined CPRs as large hospital-based systems that integrate clinicals and financials. Examples are Epic, Cerner, GE Centricity, Eclypsis, Meditech. Gartner defined functionalites necessary for various generational levels of the CPR.