The electronic medical record at Mayo Clinic

Doctor pointing to computer monitor as he talks to a patient

The first electronic doctor's note was entered in Mayo's EMR in 1994.

Woman pulling paper files from long row of files

Electronic records replaced paper records in 2005. The paper records of more than 6.2 million Mayo patients, dating back to 1907, continue to be a valuable asset for medical research.

Collaboration is probably the most important characteristic of Mayo Clinic — the ability of diverse specialists to work as a team to care for patients. And nothing is more important to collaboration than Mayo's medical record.

Nearly 100 years ago, Dr. Henry Plummer developed the concept of the "unit record," in which all of a patient's records reside in a single file that travels with the patient and is stored in a central repository. This simple system quickly became the standard for medical record keeping around the world.

Today, Mayo patient records are electronic, one of the largest such systems in the world. Everything related to a patient's care — physician notes, laboratory reports, surgical dictations, copies of correspondence, appointment schedules, X-rays, ultrasounds, CT and MRI scans, echocardiograms — is instantly available to Mayo caregivers via the electronic medical record.

Mayo's electronic medical record (EMR) is more secure than the paper system, because electronic files can be viewed only by authorized users who are readily identifiable.

Mayo's EMR is critical to Mayo's ability to provide efficient, coordinated, safe and high-quality care. Researchers can also use the EMR to analyze large amounts of patient information more efficiently, speeding the application of new research findings to improve patient care. Read about the benefits of the EMR.

Mayo is working on a new set of technology initiatives to help extend the value of the patient records to improve patient care and drive further research to generate new knowledge.

Statistics (Rochester EMR)

Clinical notes entered weekly 89,000
Lab results and reports (2011) 298 million
Stored lab results (since 1994) 344 million
EMR terminals 30,400