'Open' InfoButton Solution for EHR Systems

In the last two decades, researchers have investigated solutions to enable seamless access to online health knowledge resources within the context of electronic health record (EHR) systems. The creation and use of 'InfoButtons' are among these solutions.

A paper on InfoButtons entitled "Disseminating Context-Specific Access to Online Knowledge Resources within Electronic Health Record Systems"  was recently published in the latest issue of the open access OSEHRA Technical Journal.


With the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web, a wide range of online health knowledge resources have become available, e.g. MedLine Plus. According to the paper, studies have shown that these resources are able to answer up to 95% of the questions clinicians raise during typical patient care encounters. Yet, the use of these knowledge resources at the point of care remains relatively low.

Based on contextual attributes that describe the electronic health record (EHR) user, the patient, and the care setting, InfoButtons can be used within EHR systems to anticipate clinicians’ information needs and provide automated links to a set of relevant knowledge resources to assist clinical decision support.


OpenInfobutton is  a standards-based, 'open source' web service has been designed to disseminate InfoButton capabilities for use in multiple EHR systems. At this time, OpenInfobutton has been successfully integrated with 38 knowledge resources at 5 large healthcare organizations in the United States.

The recent article published in the OSEHRA Technical Journal describes the 'Open' InfoButton architecture, knowledge resource integration, and experiences at five large healthcare organizations that have tested it.

Librarian InfoButton Tailoring Environment  (LITE) is an open-access tool that allows users of OpenInfobutton to create knowledge resource profiles by specifying the clinical contexts in which they would like OpenInfobutton to provide links to those resources.

You can view more information about OpenInfoButton and download the free and open source software code from the OSEHRA web site.

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