Can politicians improve the efficiency of health care by pushing computerized medical records? I raise questions.

The bank owns the data in my checking account because my bank is involved in every transaction that changes my balance. There is no comparable actor in the health care system. My doctor is not necessarily involved in every transaction that affects my medical record…

I believe that the absence of computerized medical records largely reflects the lack of a single owner for those records. This in turn reflects a system in which there is no single owner for an individual’s health care. If we change the organization of health care to provide single-point accountability, then my prediction is that computerized medical records will follow. On the other hand, if we attempt to computerize the data without changing the way that medical care is organized, then we will run into great difficulties.

For Discussion. How much incentive is needed for health care providers to supply a health care database with timely and accurate information?