The HIT Policy Committee is recommending electronic health records systems under Stage 3 of the meaningful use program have comprehensive capabilities to query disparate EHR systems for patient records, and to electronically respond to such queries from other EHRs.

And that may not be the toughest task ahead. The committee envisions patients having data portability to take their electronic health record with them when they switch providers, and providers having data migration that enables them to switch EHRs while having coded data in the old system consumed by the new system so clinical decision support will still work.

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