When medical records are linked up around the nation they will improve the quality of care because medical records will follow you, despite where you go. There are many doctors and practices that do not gather medical information as they should. This would bring the information to them without much effort.
Yes, using electronic medical records improves quality of care because it simplifies the process. Doctors are now able to easily look up important information in a patient's records without scouring through paper files. Also, patients who are at a new medical facility can easily have their medical records sent on for continuity of care.
Health care delivery is improved when records are readily available. Privacy concerns aside, the implementation of a health related treatment can be most efficiently brought to a patient when this information is accessible. When records are not available, there are more chances for errors and complications, thus making health care more expensive in the long term. Availability equals expediency and accuracy.
The patients privacy is being violated because all of the medical conditions are linked and presented to every doctors office or hospital regardless of relevance. So if you had gotten an std, every place you went would see those conditions. I work in the health industry and am very against universal electronic medical recorders.
Electronic medical records does not, on its own, improve quality of care. Electronic records make things run more smoothly and are more convenient, but it is the quality of the doctors, nurses, other staff, and equipment that does the most to improve quality of care. Electronic records may correlate, but they are not a cause.