Every time I go to the doctor or dentist lately they are having some challenge with a new computer system. This probably represents progress. Though interface designers could use some work on avoiding context menus.
My mother worked as a health systems researcher (aka an actuary) for many years before retiring. She had a strong belief (backed by no small amount of data) that easier access of patients to their own medical records improved outcomes significantly. My take away from this is that the second order affects of things in the medical industry can be hard to predict easily. I also think (as Richard alluded) that greater use of EMR can lead to easier access to large anonymized datasets for research purposes.
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