EHRs could help medical care. Currently it is only making physicians more busy work.
Much of the busy work he was referring to comes from what is known as computerized physician order entry (CPOE). CPOE was touted for various reasons as a process for enhancing patient safety and reducing errors. Again there was only soft and flawed surrogate evidence in support of that claim. But the main thing to understand about CPOE is that it is nothing more than shifting the workload of order processing from the traditional ward secretary to the physician. Unlike the ward clerks, though, doctors lack secretarial skills. Sure the reduction in secretaries saves hospitals money. But whether it improves patient safety by taking a link out of the chain of process or jeopardizes patients by removing a layer of safety (the secretary, usually more skilled in the processing and administrative aspects of implementing orders) is unknown.
Computerization of medicine is great in the abstract. Superficially it's a can't miss idea. That's why people in leadership who are removed from direct patient care can't understand our hesitation and our many objections. The unintended consequences are huge and difficult to navigate. Someday we will learn to use the EMR for all it is worth. Only then can we be confident that patients are better off as a result. It may take another decade.