It sounds like Facebook would make a great starting template for a vast interconnected medical records system. But the reality is that the electronic medical record (EMR) industry is still stuck in the era of the BBS.
The similarities between modern EMRs and the BBS system are striking. Like many old Bulletin Board Systems the vast majority of EMR systems do not communicate with each other (nor even the outside world). Not only are they often incapable of communicating with another EMR or computer but even in 2012 most new EMRs don’t even have an option for sharing information with other systems! This is one of the biggest paradoxes and failures of almost all EMRs. Designed for an industry where the sharing of medical information among different facilities and health care providers is critical to the timely, effective, and safe delivery of medical care, the majority of these systems are designed to share information only within the limited confines of the specific facility or health care system that they serve. EMRs are essentially information islands cut off almost completely from direct contact with the rest of the interconnected world.