The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) includes incentives to physicians for the adoption of electronic health record (EHR) solutions.

Acquiring and adopting an EHR is a complex process, requiring attention to: the implications for physician practice workflow; the need for care planning before and during implementation; the potential trauma of transition from pa-per to electronic records; consideration on how the use of an EHR in the examination room alters the the relationship with the patient; aspects of ongoing use and support of the software; the importance of data exchange capabilities with local hospitals, labs, and other providers; and, of course, the costs and affordability.

The acquisition of an EHR is likely to have significant implications for the physician’s practice. Proper attention, especially in the implementation phase, is critical to not only achieving a successful EHR environment, but is also critical to the ongoing success of the practice.

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4 August 2009