Sticky issue. This is a huge question. On one hand, online records can be transmitted quickly when medically needed. This could save a life. On the other hand, this quick transmission can also allow breaches of privacy that are potentially painful, embarrassing, and invasive. Balancing these things is precarious! electronic records seems to be where we're going, so we need safeguards to do it well.
Yes. Medicine is a team sport which requires close and precise communication among players. Most medical mistakes are made during the handoff when info gets fumbled. Standardized methods for storing transmitting, manipulating and receiving communication about patients is the key to scoring well. The electronic health record is the first step to getting there. Do i like them? No not yet.