Standards-based, open-source electronic health record systems: a desirable future for the U.S. health industry

Telemedicine Journal and E-health : the Official Journal of the American Telemedicine Association
Peter YellowleesStuart Turner


Many healthcare systems are moving toward a fully electronic health record (EHR) in order to better manage patient care. Unfortunately, in the United States, many current EHR systems leave much to be desired. Among well-documented criticisms are that they tend to be inflexible, proprietary, nonintuitive, expensive, difficult to maintain and rarely interoperable across health systems. From the clinician's perspective, these flaws sometimes make having an EHR system seem no better than retaining a paper-based system. Open-source software, a great success in other information-intensive industries, is one possible solution to these problems, and may help integrate a functional EHR system into, and across, more health systems and clinics because of the greater potential for local customization. We believe that the advantages of an open-source EHR system outweigh the costs of a more traditional, proprietary EHR system, and recommend that more work be done to advance an interoperable open-source EHR system in the United States. Open-source EHR systems have the potential to improve healthcare in the United States as they have done in many other areas around the world.


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Related Concepts

Computer Programs and Programming
Information Extraction
Medical Records, Computerized
Systems Integration
Health Care Sector
Patient Care
Health Care Systems
Software Tools

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