Information technology is increasingly recognized as an important tool for improving patient safety and quality of care. Of all the health information-technology (IT) currently used, electronic medical records (EMR) have the most wide-ranging capacities and thus the greatest potential for improving quality. Despite this potential for quality improvement, many studies present very low levels of adoption of electronic health records in hospitals. This paper summarizes the advantages of using electronic medical records (EMR) in hospitals, and describes an implementation case study in Italy, at the Mediterranean Institute for Transplantation and Advanced Specialized Therapies (ISMETT). It also gives some technical details on the technologies used in the implementation of EMR, and provides implementers with guidance on effective implementation. Copyright © 2010 The Authors.
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