Glossary of Terms and Acronyms Related to e-Health

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EA (Enterprise Architecture):
EA is a strategic resource that aligns business and technology,
leverages shared assets, builds internal and external partnerships, and optimizes the value of information technology services. Reference:

EARS (Early Aberration Reporting System): The Early Aberration Reporting System (EARS) is a free tool for users, designed by the CDC’s Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections to assist state and local public health professionals with analysis of surveillance data.  Reference:

e-Disease Management:
e-disease management is the use of Web-based technology in support of disease management to provide patient-clinician communication, patient access to information, and patient self-management. See also: Disease management

ED (Emergency Department): An Emergency Department is a medical treatment facility specializing in acute care of patients who present without having a prior appointment either by their own means or by ambulance. Due to the unplanned nature of patient attendance, having access to information such as history of tests, medications for the patient is valuable and sometime critical to provide optimal care for an emergency.

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange): EDI is a direct exchange of data between two computers via the Internet or other network, using shared data formats and standards.

e-Encounter: An e-encounter is a type of physician-patient electronic communication that is a two-way exchange of clinical information revolving around a particular clinical question or problem specific to the patient. Either the patient or the caregiver may initiate it.

e-Health (Electronic Health): E-health is the adoption and effective use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems and other health information technology (HIT) to improve health care quality, increase patient safety, reduce health care costs, and enable individuals and communities to make the best possible health decisions. Across the nation, e-health is emerging as a powerful strategy to transform the health care system and improve the health of communities.

e-Health Initiative (National e-Health Initiative Foundation): The eHealth Initiative and the Foundation for eHealth Initiative are independent, non-profit affiliated organizations engaging multiple and diverse stakeholders (e.g. public and private clinical and public health organizations, academic and research institutions, industry, etc) to define and then implement specific actions that will address the quality, safety and efficiency challenges of our healthcare system through the use of interoperable information technology. Reference: also see the MN e-Health Initiative

EHNAC: The Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission, a federally-recognized standards development organization whose mission is to promote standards-based accreditation within the healthcare data exchange and whose accreditation programs have set benchmarks for assuring security, confidentiality, accountability, and efficiency. The Health Information Exchange Accreditation Program (“HIEAP”) is one of the various accreditation programs offered by EHNAC.

EHNAC mandatory elements: The criteria used by EHNAC as part of its Health Information Exchange Accreditation Program (“HIEAP” to assess the health information exchange organization’s electronic exchange of transactions and messages to ensure standards are met across five main categories: privacy and confidentiality; technical performance; business practices; physical, human and administrative resources; and information security.

EHR (Electronic Health Record):
EHR is a real-time patient health record with access to evidence-based decision support tools that can be used to aid clinicians in decision-making. The EHR can automate and streamline a clinician's workflow, ensuring that all clinical information is communicated. It can also prevent delays in response that result in gaps in care. The EHR can also support the collection of data for uses other than clinical care, such as billing, quality management, outcome reporting, and public health disease surveillance and reporting. EHR is considered more comprehensive than the concept of an Electronic Medical Record (EMR). Reference:

A longitudinal electronic record of patient health information generated by one or more encounters in any care delivery setting. Reference:

eLaboratory: The electronic delivery of laboratory results to practices so that such data may be integrated into electronic patient records in a full EHR system, or used by a dedicated application to view structured, context-rich, and/or longitudinal laboratory results on a patient. eLaboratory includes closing the orders loop, documenting the review of results by clinicians, and documenting that the results have been communicated to the patient. The full benefits of eLaboratory are not achieved until the results are used as input into clinical decision support systems (CDSS). Reference:

Electronic Billing (Claims, Eligibility, Remittance): The ability to contact the payer before the patient is seen and get a response that indicates whether or not the services to be rendered will be covered by the payer. Reference: eHealth Initiative Foundation. "Second Annual Survey of State, Regional and Community-based Health Information Exchange Initiatives and Organizations." Washington: eHealth Initiative, 2005.

Electronic File Transfer: The movement of one or more computer (electronic) files from one location to another location over a network or Internet.

Electronic Laboratory Reporting (ELR): The automated transmission of laboratory-related data from commercial, public health, hospital, and other laboratories to state and local public health departments through an electronic health records (EHR) system or a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). ELR helps identify reportable conditions determined by confirmatory testing and supports case reporting at the state or local level. Reference:

Electronic Prescribing/e-Prescribing: E-prescribing means secure bidirectional electronic information exchange between prescribers (providers), dispensers (pharmacies), Pharmacy Benefits Managers, or health plans, directly or through an intermediary network. E-prescribing encompasses exchanging prescriptions, checking the prescribed drug against the patient’s health plan formulary of eligible drugs, checking for any patient allergy to drug or drug-drug interactions, access to patient medication history, and sending or receiving an acknowledgement that the prescription was filled.

Electronic Quality Data Submission (Performance and Accountability Measures): Support the capture and reporting of quality, performance, and accountability measures to which providers/facilities/delivery.

Electronic Referral Management: The ability to generate and/or receive summaries of relevant clinical information on a patient that are typically transferred between healthcare providers when a patient is referred to a specialist or admitted or discharged from a hospital. Reference: eHealth Initiative Foundation. "Second Annual Survey of State, Regional and Community-based Health Information Exchange Initiatives and Organizations." Washington: eHealth Initiative Foundation, 2005.

Electronic Signature: A digital signature, which serves as a unique identifier for an individual. Reference:

Eligible Hospital (Medicare and/or Medicaid): Some eligible hospitals may receive EHR incentive payments from both Medicare and Medicaid if they meet all eligibility criteria. What is an eligible hospital under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program?

  • Subsection (d) hospitals in the 50 states or DC that are paid under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS)
  • Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs)
  • Medicare Advantage (MA-Affiliated) Hospitals
What is an Eligible Hospital under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program?
  • Acute care hospitals (including CAHs and cancer hospitals) with at least 10% Medicaid patient volume
  • Children's hospitals (no Medicaid patient volume requirements)
Some hospitals may be eligible for both; see the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Web site for more details. Reference:

Eligible Professional (Medicare and/or Medicaid): Some eligible professionals may receive EHR incentive payments from either Medicare and Medicaid if they meet all eligibility criteria. Who is an Eligible Professional under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program?

  • Doctor of medicine or osteopathy
  • Doctor of dental surgery or dental medicine
  • Doctor of podiatry
  • Doctor of optometry
  • Chiropractor

Who is an Eligible Professional under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program?

  • Physicians (primarily doctors of medicine and doctors of osteopathy)
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Certified nurse-midwife
  • Dentist
  • Physician assistant who furnishes services in a Federally Qualified Health Center or Rural Health Clinic that is led by a physician assistant.

To qualify for an incentive payment under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program, an eligible professional must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Have a minimum 30% Medicaid patient volume*
  • Have a minimum 20% Medicaid patient volume, and is a pediatrician*
  • Practice predominantly in a Federally Qualified Health Center or Rural Health Center and have a minimum 30% patient volume attributable to needy individuals

* Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) patients do not count toward the Medicaid patient volume criteria. Reference:

EMR (Electronic Medical Record): An electronic record of health-related information on an individual that can be created, gathered, managed, and consulted by authorized clinicians and staff within one health care organization. Reference: The National Alliance for Health Information Technology Report to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology on Defining Key Health Information Technology Terms, April 2008.  See also: EHR (Electronic Health Record)

The EMR is the legal record created in hospitals and ambulatory environments that is the source of data for the EHR. Reference:

Encryption: The process of enciphering or encoding a message so as to render it unintelligible without a key to decrypt (unscramble) the message. Reference:

eRX (See also electronic/e-Prescribing): eRX is a type of computer technology whereby physicians use handheld or personal computer devices to review drug and formulary coverage and to transmit prescriptions to a printer or to a local pharmacy. E-Prescribing software can be integrated into existing clinical information systems to allow physician access to patient-specific information to screen for drug interactions and allergies. Reference:

Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM): Evidence-based medicine is the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients. The practice of evidence-based medicine means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research and patient values and expectations. Reference: or

Evidence-Based Practice (EBP): Evidence-based practice is a thoughtful integration of the best available evidence, coupled with professional expertise. As such it enables health practitioners of all varieties to address healthcare questions with an evaluative and qualitative approach. EBP allows the practitioner to assess current and past research, clinical guidelines, and other information resources in order to identify relevant literature while differentiating between high-quality and low-quality findings. Reference:

External access to electronic health records: Access to electronic health records by a person or entity other than the health care entity that controls the electronic health record or a related health care entity.

Updated Tuesday, 10-Dec-2013 14:48:44 CST