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Long-term Preservation and Management of Electronic Health Records

The ability to apply standard and interoperable solutions to manage and preserve electronic health records (lab test results, CT scans, physician notes, etc.) and migrate, distribute, replicate, and access these records from legacy formats and platforms to advanced standard formats and operating systems are vital for clinical care and medical research. However, management and systems interoperability for preservation, storage, and accessibility of such health data has not yet been defined for electronic health records (EHR).

Through research as well as collaboration with government, standard development organizations, and industry, NIST researchers are working to create a standard preservation infrastructure to support a wide variety of electronic health records, data formats, and delivery mechanisms as well as identify, evaluate, and integrate standard and best practice long-term preservation and management tools to migrate, replicate, and distribute EHRs. This initiative will enable NIST researchers to:

  • implement a universal messaging mapper to parse an extensive range of protocols,
  • store clinical knowledge into a universal archtype-based record format, and
  • search, retrieve, and access stored electronic health records in the long-term.

The goal is to establish an interoperable framework that can enable the exchange of EHRs between legacy and future electronic health record formats, and capture clinical knowledge independent from technology while providing standard interface to access and update clinical knowledge.

Long-term Data Preservation and Management of EHRs Fact Sheet


Created January 14, 2011, Updated November 15, 2019