A new study from the Institute of Medicine argues that the inclusion of social and behavioral health domains in electronic health records is vital to providing crucial information to providers treating individual patients, to health systems concerned about the health of populations, and to researchers involved in determining the effectiveness of treatment.

The report, the first of a two-phase study conducted by a 13-member IOM committee, identifies: specific domains to be considered by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; criteria that should be used in deciding which domains should be included; identification of core social and behavioral domains to be included in all EHRs; and any other domains that should be included for specific populations or settings defined by age, socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, disease, or other characteristics.

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