Content barriers to pediatric uptake of electronic health records

Adv Pediatr. 2012;59(1):159-81. doi: 10.1016/j.yapd.2012.04.004.


EHR systems provide significant opportunities to enhance pediatric care. Well-constructed clinical content, HIE, automated reminders and alerts, and reporting at practice, community, and public health levels are available in several current systems and products. However, the general focus on inpatient and adult populations in the design and marketing of these systems should be seen as a significant barrier to EHR adoption among pediatric primary care providers. Weight-based medication dosing, specialty growth charts, units of measurement and time, and measures to address minor consent and adolescent confidentiality are not universal in quality and availability to the pediatric practice. However, there are opportunities for pediatricians to provide input and to clearly state minimum requirements when dealing with vendors or when government agencies (eg, ONCHIT and AHRQ) seek comment on standards, practices, and expectations. This article uses cases and examples to describe some areas in which pediatricians should take an active role to advocate for pediatric-appropriate EHR tools. Virtually every child born and cared for in the United States today will have their data and information recorded in an EHR. The quality of the information and the HIT in which it is recorded can affect the care they get as children, and the information they carry into adulthood.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Confidentiality
  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Electronic Health Records / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Electronic Health Records / standards
  • Electronic Health Records / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Information Management / methods*
  • Humans
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Pediatrics / organization & administration*
  • United States