should be collected so that they can produce quality secondary records; subject to appropriate controls, these records can be added to institutional, local, regional, national, or international databases as needed for clinical, administrative, or research purposes.

In summary, the committee believes that the computer-based patient record can play an increasingly important role in the health care environment. This role begins in the care process by providing patient information when needed and by supporting clinical decision making. It extends to the management of care by establishing a mechanism by which quality assurance procedures and clinical practice guidelines (including the most recent warnings on contraindications and adverse reactions to therapies) can be brought to health care professionals at the time and site of patient care. It also includes providing opportunities for reducing administrative costs associated with health care financing and collecting administrative data for internal and external review. It encompasses enhancing health care professional education by supporting independent, lifelong learning. Finally, it extends to capturing relevant, accurate data necessary for technology assessment, health services research, and related studies concerning the appropriateness, effectiveness, and outcomes of care.

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