We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
There is great potential for improved health outcomes. The computer "could" be a great thing for medicine/doctors and patients. When I go to urgent care with something worse than a cold the doctor I see knows what my medications are and what my health problems are. When I go to my monthly coag appointment they know what medications I might have been given for short term care. When I go to my doctor in a different city she knows what happened at the urgent care, what happened at coag and what my oncologist has done. Same for my oncologist visit. It doesn't require me to remember to tell them or to depend on them to ask me. It can work to everyone's advantage. Will it? It depends.
I live in Oregon and the state of Oregon spent $350 million or more on the automated system to just provide Obamacare for Oregonians. The system never worked and was finally scrapped. I was not part of this process and don't know what, exactly, went wrong. But I spent 45 years in the computer business and I can tell you from experience that the chances are that high level administrators (with no computer experience) insisted on certain specific things they felt 'must' be included in the system and were unwilling to change their mind or compromise. In other words bureaucrats/politicians demanded things that were contrary to an effective and dependable computerized system and never understood how this sabotaged the effort.
It is certainly possible to develop a good computerized medical records system and it is certainly true that such a system would be good for health care professionals and patients. But it is probable that the government, (federal, state or local) will find some way to screw it up.
Sorry, GWTW, but you're wrong. Not about administrative types screwing it up, no. But I have worked with many different EHRs, private, military, and VA in large and small settings, specialty and primary care, and I have NEVER seen a good EHR, because they don't exist. Some are less bad, but all suck. You can scan any EHR forever without seeing evidence of real medical thinking (which, with all due respect, you computer folks know nothing about), because to use EHR you must talk to.....A COMPUTER. It's a second language for those of us who aren't computer people, and our thought processes don't survive translation into mindless idiot check-box menus. With a lot of extra time and work, you can actually convey medical thought, but it's never wise to make it harder to do the right thing. So Docs just give up and check the boxes. Please, please understand: you are as able to recognize good medical practice as I am to judge good code, or whatever it is you guys do. You haven't the faintest clue what it is doing to medicine, and you won't like it when you find out.