May 2012

Document Type


Degree Name



Dept. of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology


Oregon Health & Science University


Accessibility of patient data to all participants involved in patient care (both providers and the patients themselves), in a timely, cost-effective and secure manner, plays a major role in assuring the quality of care. The virtues of data sharing in healthcare (otherwise referred to as “health information exchange”) are broadly recognized and rarely disputed. Yet, in spite of several decades of major technological developments in information management, patient data in the U.S. healthcare system remain highly fragmented and frequently inaccessible both to patients and their providers, as the patient moves from one point of care to another. Enabling providers to have easy access to all relevant patient information through health information exchange (a longitudinal record with proper disclosure authorizations) would: • improve quality of patient care, through better coordination among providers, better access to test results, reductions in medication error and other adverse events; • reduce healthcare costs for both the patient and the nation, by eliminating duplicative care, as well as generating other cost savings from the overall improvement of care; • improve public health and safety, by providing government agencies and other healthcare and safety organizations with better tools for risk assessment, preventative care and other necessary measures; • increase patient engagement and/or simplify the tasks for family members and other caretakers, through readily available access to self-assessment tools, provider instructions, advance healthcare directives, etc.




School of Medicine



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