Purpose: To discuss the current trend toward greater use of electronic health records and how these records could enhance public health surveillance of eye health and vision-related conditions. Design: Perspective, comparing systems. Methods: We describe 3 currently available sources of electronic health data (Kaiser Permanente, the Veterans Health Administration, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) and how these sources can contribute to a comprehensive vision and eye health surveillance system. Results: Each of the 3 sources of electronic health data can contribute meaningfully to a comprehensive vision and eye health surveillance system, but none currently provide all the information required. The use of electronic health records for vision and eye health surveillance has both advantages and disadvantages. Conclusions: Electronic health records may provide additional information needed to create a comprehensive vision and eye health surveillance system. Recommendations for incorporating electronic health records into such a system are presented.
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