The primary use of electronic medical records (EMRs) is to record ongoing interaction between patients and the health systems in which they participate. Secondary uses of the EMR continue to emerge providing opportunities for high-quality population health research as well as health promotion efforts. Research and health promotion activities involving the EMR may be passive and/or active. Secondary EMR activities are being focused on improving patient and provider management of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD affects over 30 % of American adults, and the EMR contains information relevant to this multifaceted disease. Secondary EMR use related to CVD research and awareness includes functioning as a data repository, recruiting study participants, building predictive analytics, developing algorithms for disease screening, and delivering disease management tools. Diverse secondary EMR applications have revealed successes, challenges, and limitations highlighting new lessons learned and opportunities in health promotion and population research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number422
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Cardiovascular Risk Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cardiovascular health
  • EMR active use
  • EMR passive use
  • Electronic health records
  • Electronic medical records
  • Health promotion
  • Population research
  • Risk factors


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