From Electronic Health Records to Digital Health Biographies

19 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2018

See all articles by Robert F. Graboyes

Robert F. Graboyes

Mercatus Center at George Mason University

Darcy Bryan


Date Written: February 15, 2018


Electronic health records (EHRs) are widely perceived as having great potential for improving the quality of healthcare and diminishing the costs of that care. Present-day EHRs, however, are widely perceived as disappointing. Many doctors consider them time- and money-wasting nuisances that interfere with their interactions with patients. This paper explores how and why potential and reality diverge. We lay out a dozen broad principles for creating a new generation of EHRs that fulfill their long-hypothesized promise. To emphasize the magnitude of the difference between our proposal and today’s EHRs and to simplify the narrative, we use the label “digital health biographies” (DHBs) for the alternative we envision.

Keywords: technological innovation, doctors, medical care, electronic health records, EHR, electronic medical records, EMR, patient data, decentralization, HITECH Act, health care, healthcare, digital health

JEL Classification: I1, O2, O3

Suggested Citation

Graboyes, Robert F. and Bryan, Darcy, From Electronic Health Records to Digital Health Biographies (February 15, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Robert F. Graboyes (Contact Author)

Mercatus Center at George Mason University ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd. 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Darcy Bryan


No Address Available

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