As a student in healthcare, I'll share my two cents. Electronic records are incredibly valuable. Any and all information you need about
a patient is literally right at your fingertips- you can look at progress notes, evaluations and assessments, consultations, orders, lab results, imaging, etc, etc. It really promotes consistency in care, and you can get a better picture of each patient by knowing their medical history as more than just diagnoses but as a story. Also, most software for e-records have built-in safety checks, which make some aspects of healthcare "idiot proof" and cuts down the number of errors, i.e. drug interactions or nursing protocols based on orders. It makes the job of the healthcare professional much more streamlined, not to mention time-effective. Interdisciplinary care is also made much easier with this type of record. These records are less prone than paper to HIPAA violations and create a paper trail for every situation that can be reviewed without anything "accidentally" getting lost. As always, patients would have access to their own medical record at any time. Many facilities are making part or all of the record available to the patient online, and this has the potential to keep doctors more accountable and patients more informed. Electronic documentation really benefits the doctors, the clinics/hospitals in general, and the patient.
As a patient, however, I can see your concerns. I think that (some) doctors document carefully in an attempt to remain unbiased. And new doctors, upon recieving records and taking on a case, will try to take the history of the patient objectively. This is why getting a second opinion is important and effective- if a doc went by history alone, they'd all come to the same conclusions. Any documentation will have the doctors' impressions and opinions, though, and I know when I've read a report about
someone it sticks in the back of my head when I meet them- but then I'm
open to change when I do my own assessments and get my own impressions. I think it would be a disadvantage for anyone to start with a "clean slate" and rely on their own subjective experiences to provide medical history. The doctor really needs the whole story to piece things together- not to say the patient would purposely leave anything out, but with a complete record all of the information is there for a doctor to gain an understanding of the patient's condition. And, such as in your case, if one doctor's opinion conflicted with the patient's experiences, the new doctor and the patient would be able to discuss this, explore reasons for the discrepancy, and track consistency or changes since the prior experiences. Personally, if I had a doctor who looked only at my history and did not consider my viewpoint at all, I'd get a new doctor.
I'm all for electronic documentation. The only real disadvantage I can see is ease of access for insurance companies, but that's a whole new topic and one that I don't know much about