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EHR graphic (click to view site with high res)Most of our readers are familiar with the brief animated video introduced last summer by ONC, the health IT group in the US government. (If you haven’t seen it, you can watch it below, in long and short versions.)

Now they’ve introduced a new poster (click the tiny version at right) that conveys the same message, intended to be shared through our online networks, to spread the word to the general citizenry who might not yet be familiar with why all this EMR stuff is happening and what it means for their families’ health. I like it: it’s clear and concise – the opposite of bureaucratese. Good on you, ONC.


  • Where we were, and where we are now
  • What you can do with it (check to make sure it’s right, keep track of important info and meds, take it with you to new docs)
  • “People who are more engaged in their health get better care” – citing our own Nancy Finn in our Journal of Participatory Medicine!
  • “27% of internet users track health information” (Susannah Fox’s famous report The Social Life of Health Information, reported here)
  • What it means for you (easy access, better care coordination, fewer unnecessary tests, etc.)

I’ve asked ONC if they have a print-ready high-res PDF, because I think this is worthy of posting in waiting rooms and clinics of all sorts. I also suggested that in the next version they say “you and your care team,” not “you and your doctors” – the more groups I speak to, the more I’m clear about the pivotal role of nurses in using the EHR and engaging the patient and family in its use and maintenance.

The animated video:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it all my time explaining health IT to ordinary citizens, I’ve never seen anything that comes as close to perfection as these short videos. I’m known for being a wee bit picky :-) but when I first saw this I practically bowed to Erin Poetter and Lygeia Ricciardi, who (I think) led the project.

One minute version:

Three minute version:

If you yourself have a chance to contribute to a community meeting about what’s happening in health, both the video and the poster can be useful assets. Your tax dollars paid for ’em – use ’em!


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