E-Health spread and the consequences for digital archives from the standpoint of a custodian


The paper explains the standpoint of a regional public custodian, the "Polo archivistico dell’Emilia-Romagna" (ParER), engaged in the long-term preservation of electronic medical records. This perspective points out that this documentary domain, which is characterized by a mature use of information technology that goes under the name of e-Health, represents a broad front of challenges and issues. The analysis focuses on the various aspects of the dynamism that distinguishes the steps of creation, handling, maintenance of electronic medical records, in contrast with the stability that is peculiar of the long-term preservation. The analysis highlights that the electronic medical records renew the traditional relationship among context, metadata, documentary form. But above all it is worthy of note that electronic medical records urge the "Polo archivistico" to adopt a custodial perspective not inward-looking, but that is able to give preserved digital archives back their nature of "social construction".


Digital archives; Digital preservation; Electronic medical records; Metadata; ParER

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Copyright (c) 2015 Alessandro Alfier

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. is a journal of UNIFI-SAGAS published by EUM - edizioni università di macerata