The term electronic patient record (EPR) means the electronic collection of clinical narrative and diagnostic reports specific to an individual patient. A true EPR should allow physicians and nurses to practice in a paperless fashion. The wide adoption of Internet technologies should allow truly distributed sharing of patient data across traditional organizational barriers. Hence, the meaning of an EPR, as a representation of documents, should be transformed into a collaborative environment that supports workflow, enables new care models and allows secure access to distributed health data. This paper reviews the current realization of EPRs in the context of paper-based medical records. The Internet architecture that Boston-based medical informatics researchers refer to as W3-EMRS is described in the context of a successful implementation of CareWeb at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical center. Finally, we describe how this Internet-based approach can be extended beyond the boundaries of traditional care settings to help evolve new collaborative models of eHealth.