Both the stimulus package passed during the Great Recession and the Affordable Care Act have allowances for doctors and health care providers to move towards electronic medical records. It should be a requirement for American doctors to have electronic medical records so that patients can have their medical history called up at a moment's notice. This prevents wrong diagnoses, duplicate tests and over-medication.
I believe that doctors should be required to use electronic medical records. Paper records are not efficient any longer. Electronic medical records would allow doctors to quickly call up a variety of information, including the patient's history, hospitalization records, medication history, etc. Also doctors can type in information very quickly using a laptop and spend more time with the patient.
Electronic records may be an altogether superior way of dealing with patient information, but this possibility doesn't mean that every medical practice should use electronic medical records. I'm certain that there are plenty of medical offices which are efficient and accurate and safe with respect to their use of medical records. These offices shouldn't be mandated by law to adopt a system they are not familiar with, and whose cost will need to be passed on to the patient.
Doctors offices that fail to provide electronic medical records wont stay open unless they are worth going to. They wont be worth going to unless they provide a comparable value to those with electronic records. If those electronic records so well outcompete the others, then so be it. If electronic medical records are valuable enough to be required, nothing else will be able to compete with them anyway. Leave it to the doctors and the market.