Notable Electronic Health Record Milestones

  • 1964


    National Library of Medicine makes Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (MEDLARS) operational. Image courtesy of the National Library of Medicine.

  • 1972


    Regenstrief Institute develops first EHR System with inpatient/outpatient information. Director Clement McDonald (front) worked on developing the computer-based order entry system. Image courtesy of Indiana University School of Medicine.

  • 1980


    Veterans Adminsitrations starts work on VistA, the Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture. Image courtesy of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • 1982


    Congress endorses public use of VistA.

  • 1996


    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is passed with major implicates to EHR use, disclosure and confidentiality.

  • 2004


    President George W. Bush promotes adoption of EHRs. Image courtesy of

  • 2009


    The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act passes, encouraging EHR adoption

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Since 2008, electronic health record adoption has increased 41% -- an rise attributable to a mandate from the U.S. government and paid incentives to doctors' offices and health care provider networks to make investments in the technology.

Although there's still a long road ahead in terms of achieving meaningful use incentives, this slideshow explores the history of EHR devices.

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