Book Reviews: EHRs

February 7, 2012
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I recently read two books on EHR/EMRs: one was published in 2007 but still has relevance, the other published in 2010 and focused on implementation.

I recently read two books on EHR/EMRs: one was published in 2007 but still has relevance, the other published in 2010 and focused on implementation.

EHRsElectronic Health Records: A Guide for Clinicians and Administrators by Jerome Carter is published by the American College of Physicians is a 500+ page volume written primarily for physicians.  The first part of the book is a comprehensive review of EHRs including infrastructure, perspectives on the the use of EHRs for things like outcomes, clinical decision support and quality improvement and legal and privacy issues. The second half of the book is devoted selection and implementation of EHRs with a comprehensive workbook on product features and vendor selection. The majority of the book is still highly relevant with the only exception being some of the information on infrastructure which seems outdated and the lack of discussion of mobile uses of EHRs which is definitely a future goal.

The second book, Keys to EMR/EHR Success: Selecting and Implementing an Electronic Medical Record is also in its second edition. This work by Ronald Sterling begins by walking the reader through the initial questions of why invest in an EMR and how to transition from a practice management system to a full-functioning EMR and how to evaluated the potential legal risks, all common issues for medical practices considering this transition. The author then moves on to product selection and making a decision and negotiating a contract. These implementation details can easily be lost in the selection process and this kind of systematic approach is essential. Finally, the book addresses implementation, activation and support. Again, ongoing support is a common issue for those from the health IT world but not always considered by physicians or practice managers.

Both books provide helpful advice and background for EMR implementation. For those considering an EMR or who want to become familiar with one, these are helpful resources. The book from ACP could also be considered as a textbook in a health informatics curriculum.EMR Success