This paper outlines a quality assurance (QA) process and a multiple case, explorative, electronic medical records (EMRs) project in Ontario. The project, dedicated to Advancing and Leveraging the Investment Value of EMRs (ALIVE) was an eight-month investigation of improvements to EMRs in terms of the technical elements of patient records that could be optimized through data standardization and the social elements needed to integrate value into the everyday functioning of primary care (PC) organizations. We argue that standardized and structured data offer substantial clinical value in PC insofar as it enables more proactive chronic disease prevention and management (CDPM). While PC clinicians may have had the opportunity to look the other way with respect to enabling technologies in the past, imminent health system reforms demand more meaningful use of EMRs moving forward.
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