But what would happen if patients were encouraged not just to see their medical records but to take them home, study them and really own them?
This relates to many of the articles I have written about EHR, data safety, and ownership. Strictly speaking this is not just a technology question it is a deeper philosophical question. However digital records make it more significant as digital records are much easier to use to copy to transmit and to search. The philosophical question is, who owns the data?
The immediate answer is the patient owns the data. But do they? Doesn’t the person, in most cases the medical person, who created the data and has responsibility to act on the data have some interest? Do you own your own genome? If so should you have easy access to that data?
Having posed these esoteric philosophy questions the reality is more banal. Even if you do own the data so what? What can you do with it? Interestingly that is what most of the commenters on Slashdot say. Having access to your EHR and taking it home will have no effect because you cannot understand what it says or what the relevance of the information might be.