Apart from the case record, no mechanism exists in medicine that brings its diverse elements together. Improving these clinical portraits and striving to enlarge their usefulness must be central goals of medicine, for the case records are the works that define its essence.

—Stanley J. Reiser, 1991 (1)

This issue includes 2 articles that may initially seem unrelated. Siegler (2) gives us an extraordinary look at the evolution of medical records at The New York Hospital in the 1800s. Maxson and colleagues (3), from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, describe federal efforts to support the broad ...


  • 1. Reiser SJThe clinical record in medicine. Part 2: Reforming content and purpose. Ann Intern Med1991;114:980-5. [PMID: 2024867] LinkGoogle Scholar
  • 2. Siegler ELThe evolving medical record. Ann Intern Med2010;153:671-7. LinkGoogle Scholar
  • 3. Maxson EJain SKendall MMostashari FBlumenthal DThe Regional Extension Center program: helping physicians meaningfully use health information technology. Ann Intern Med2010;153:666-70. LinkGoogle Scholar
  • 4. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-5, 123 Stat. 226 (2009). Google Scholar
  • 5. Hirschtick REA piece of my mind. Copy-and-paste. JAMA2006;295:2335-6. [PMID: 16720812] CrossrefMedlineGoogle Scholar
  • 6. Snyder LLeffler CEthics and Human Rights CommitteeAmerican College of Physicians. Ethics manual: fifth edition. Ann Intern Med2005;142:560-82. [PMID: 15809467] LinkGoogle Scholar
  • 7. Hartzband PGroopman JOff the record—avoiding the pitfalls of going electronic. N Engl J Med2008;358:1656-8. [PMID: 18420497] CrossrefMedlineGoogle Scholar
  • 8. Reiser SJThe clinical record in medicine. Part 1: Learning from cases. Ann Intern Med1991;114:902-7. [PMID: 2014953] LinkGoogle Scholar
  • 9. Schiff GDBates DWCan electronic clinical documentation help prevent diagnostic errors? N Engl J Med2010;362:1066-9. [PMID: 20335582] CrossrefMedlineGoogle Scholar
  • 10. Kuhn TM, Barr MS, Gardner LA, Baker DW; for the Medical Informatics Subcommittee of the American College of Physicians. EHR-based quality measurement & reporting: critical for meaningful use and health care improvement. Policy Paper. Philadelphia: American Coll Physicians; 2010. Accessed at www.acponline.org/advocacy/where_we_stand/health_information_technology/ehrs.pdf on 27 September 2010. Google Scholar