The increasing mobility of the population and frequent changes in healthcare coverage, in both the government and private sectors, require integration of medical records not only longitudinally, but also across a variety of healthcare providers. Early in 1998, the federal government decided to solve this problem by constructing a framework for access to medical records by all of the government’s health care facilities, called the Government Computer-Based Patient Record (GCPR). The government consortium chose a proposal by Litton PRC, a partnership of 11 companies with complementary areas of expertise. The framework is based on open systems, which use publicly available standards, and includes a Master Patient Information Locator that allows access to medical information from remote facilities, based on creating a unique identifier for each and every individual patient. PRC will use the Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) imaging standard for radiology, supplemented by Health Level Seven (HL7).
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