Sophisticated electronic health records (EHRs), which digitize health information and make it easier to share and analyze, sound like a wonderful policy idea- improving patient care, quality, and research at a stroke. Many accounts of them portray them as an uncontroversially good policy idea on which every health system is converging But they are also expensive, complex, and full of the political challenges facing any costly project that touches on so many issues of privacy, professional autonomy, business models and power in health systems.
We propose in this Cube to explore the comparative politics of health information technology, asking how the politics, law, and interests of the French, English, and US health systems fed into decisions about the scope and role of EHR. Our fundamental question is: how does each system regulate access to data, in law and in practice, and why does it work that way? Who has access and for what purposes, with what level of data sharing, and why?