Commissioned by the Department of Health and Human Services, Key Capabilities of an Electronic Health Record System provides guidance on the most significant care delivery-related capabilities of electronic health record (EHR) systems. There is a great deal of interest in both the public and private sectors in encouraging all health care providers to migrate from paper-based health records to a system that stores health information electronically and employs computer-aided decision support systems. In part, this interest is due to a growing recognition that a stronger information technology infrastructure is integral to addressing national concerns such as the need to improve the safety and the quality of health care, rising health care costs, and matters of homeland security related to the health sector. Key Capabilities of an Electronic Health Record System provides a set of basic functionalities that an EHR system must employ to promote patient safety, including detailed patient data (e.g., diagnoses, allergies, laboratory results), as well as decision-support capabilities (e.g., the ability to alert providers to potential drug-drug interactions). The book examines care delivery functions, such as database management and the use of health care data standards to better advance the safety, quality, and efficiency of health care in the United States.