Why are EHRs so important?

First, EHRs provide a way for your healthcare providers to track the care you've received over time and across different doctors' offices. EHRs store your health status and medical history in a secure electronic format, making it easier for your whole health team to access the same information. Ideally, this results in more coordinated care, helping to improve your treatment and overall health.

Second, research using EHRs has the potential to be very powerful. These records document the health status and medical history of you and millions of other Americans, and this massive amount of data can be used to answer all kinds of newly emerging research questions. By sharing what you can, you play an important part in pioneering this new research.