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Electronic Health Records: An International Perspective on "Meaningful Use"

Research has shown that the United States lags many other countries in the adoption of electronic health records (EHRs). The U.S. has now embarked on a major effort to achieve "meaningful use" of health information technology by clinicians and hospitals. This issue brief describes the extent of meaningful use in three countries with very high levels of health information technology adoption—Denmark, New Zealand, and Sweden. While all three have achieved high levels of meaningful use, none has reached 100 percent in all categories. The brief find high levels of meaningful use for EHR items and substantial information-sharing with other organizations or health authorities, although less information is shared with patients. Insights that may prove useful to the United States include providing economic incentives to encourage adoption and designating an organization to take responsibility for standardization and interoperability.

Publication Details



B. H. Gray, T. Bowden, I. Johansen, and S. Koch, Electronic Health Records: An International Perspective on "Meaningful Use", The Commonwealth Fund, November 2011.