The EHR Observatory


The Danish Electronic Health Record Observatory

In 1998, the Danish Electronic Health Record Observatory was launched by the Danish Ministry of Health. The purpose of the EHR Observatory is to support the
realisation of the national health IT strategy by monitoring and assessing the development, implementation and application of EHRs in hospitals. The EHR Observatory is disseminating national and international experience to the EHR actors.


The EHR Observatory is funded by the Ministry of Interior and Health, The Association of Danish Regions and The Copenhagen Hospital Corporation.


The Danish IT strategy for healthcare 

In 2003, the Ministry of Health approved a new IT strategy for the whole health-care sector for the period 2003 to 2007. The EHR Observatory is included in this strategy.


Highlights from the IT strategy are:


• EHRs in all hospitals by 1st January 2006

• EHRs based on the national information model for EHR

• Large scale national XML communication between & inside hospitals by 2005

• Internet based secure health network by 2005

• National health portal by 2004


Monitoring the dissemination

The ambitious goal that all hospitals should have EHRs by 2006 is a driving force for the EHR implementation in Denmark. However, this rigorous schedule is now being easened. The dissemination of EHRs is monitored and surveyed by the EHR Observatory. The number of hospital beds covered by EHR is used as an indicator. In June 2003 the national average cover-age was 13%, varying from 0% to 70% among counties. The level in the previous years and the estimates for the next years are shown in the diagram:




The national information model for EHR

The National Board of Health has developed an information model for EHR systems and for data access among EHRs. The model is a process model demanding structured information based on period of care, problem orientation and cross-professional documentation. When implemented, it will be possible to follow the interventions made and assess the results achieved for a specific patient problem – regardless of which health care party provided the service.


Evaluation of EHRs

The national EHR model has been implemented in several systems. The EHR Observatory is currently performing evaluation of these EHRs.


A comprehensive clinical assessment consists of:

• Change readiness analyses

• Assessment of clinical functionality

• Work flow analyses with video documentation

• Usability analyses


A technical validation is based on a set of 500 tests with coherent test data, reflecting the national information model. The EHRs are validated by several criteria:

• Conformity with use cases

• Conformity with the model

• Conformity with communication standards




The documentation produced during the test is consolidated in one document, stating the test result and possibly lack of functionality.


The EHR Observatory’s activities

 • Annual conferences – in 2003 with 500 participants and 15 exhibitors

 • Annual reports – with surveys of EHR development, dissemination and communication

 • Handbooks and methods development – assessment of organisational change and clinical assessment of EHR

 • Technical validation of EHR systems - conformance to models, standards and usability demands

 • Workshops, seminars

 • Networking: National, Nordic, European (EuroRec)

 • The website –


EHR Observatory partners:




Project manager: Søren Vingtoft:

Knut Bernstein:

Morten Bruun-Rasmussen:




Virtual Centre for Health Informatics

Aalborg University


Stig Kjær Andersen:

Christian Nøhr:

Secretary: Marianne Sørensen:



Siden er sidst opdateret den 7.12.2004