Heather Garris, a custodian of medical records, organizes patients' files at Colorado Springs Internal Medicine in Colorado Springs, Colo. Barry Gutierrez for NPR hide caption

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Patient William Wishart, age 4 months, looks on as Dr. Melanie Walker uses a portable computer to enter information from his exam into an electronic medical records system, in North Raleigh, N.C., in November. Chris Seward/MCT /Landov hide caption

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Electronic medical records can have drawbacks, too. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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Transporting reams of athletes' medical information has become a major burden for the U.S. Olympic Committee, and is one reason it's switching to electronic medical records. Andrew Villegas/KHN/iStockphoto.com hide caption

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