“If you are ever in a situation where you cannot speak for yourself, your electronic medical record will speak for you.” That’s what I said on Thursday, January 27, 2005, from my place on a stage that had been so recently built that it still smelled of sawdust and glue. It was just one sentence in my 15-or-so minutes of prepared remarks; and while I couldn’t possibly have known it at the time, I have since come to realize that it is probably the single most prescient sentence I have ever uttered; it is the one that has had the greatest impact on the integrated health information technology work we have done at Cleveland Clinic during the past 15 years; and it will, I am sure, continue to inform the work we will do for years to come. ...

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